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Author Topic: Denial for service from Tattoo & Piercing store due to hiv diagnoses  (Read 9514 times)

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Offline Proparask

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Hi there!

I am 21 years old, i come from Greece and i currently study in Oslo, Norway. I was tested positive 6 months ago. I had an undetectable viral load 3 weeks after i started my treatment with Bictarvy and on February i visited a friend in Amsterdam.

I wanted to do a piercing for the first time in my life to my ear because i come from a religious family and i never had the chance to try something new with my looks.

When i entered the tattoo shop they gave me an online form to fill and i had to fill a box about bloodborn diseases. I wanted to be honest even though i had an undetectable status because they work with needls and they need to be extra cautious.

They asked me to specify about my diagnoses so i told them that i live with HIV but i have an undetectable status.

The two guys working there seemed inexperienced and called their supervisor to see what they need to do in such cases. After the call they told me that they had instructions from their boss that i need a written letter from my doctor confirming it is safe for me to have a piercing for my own well being and health and that for legal reasons they can not take the risk for my health. They told me that they are not concerned about their safety but for my own even tho i explained to them that there is not health risk for me getting a piercing for my ear.

I had to take a flight and i was in a hurry so i did not argue with them, but i left Amsterdam feeling really bad mentally.

I will contact my doctor at the infectious disease unit to see if she can write a letter saying that it is safe for me to get a tattoo or a piercing.

Do you know if this claim is legit and if that has happened to anyone else before ? Can they legally refuse service because i live with the virus ?

I will be very thankfull for any comments on this matter.

Offline Jim Allen

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They don't have to know your HIV status, you are not legally required to tell them either, even if they ask on a form or contract.

There are no additional precautions they or should need to take as they need to use universal (standard) precautions, regardless of someone's claimed HIV or BBV status, to protect themselves and their customer.

It's sad that in 2023 some people still think additional precautions are needed after universal precautions (procedures) came out in 1985 and were later adopted by other service fields. 

The letter they asked for is just a cover note to make sure you are not at greater risk of infection from getting a tattoo. Again not a legal requirement but an ask although after disclosing your HIV status to them the ship had sailed, in regards, to getting services from them without it.

Anyhow, if you want to report this, you can; doubtful anything would come from it, but it could fall under the law "Gelijke behandeling op grond van handicap of chronische ziekte" roughly translated as Equal treatment on the basis of disability or chronic illness, In the Netherlands back in 2016, this law was extended to cover services and goods.

Unless something has changed in recent years there is only one true NGO in the Netherlands for people living with HIV is https://www.hivvereniging.nl/ They might be able to assist you with more detailed answers and help you file a complaint if you want.

If you want an easy life, then next time, say nothing and don't disclose your HIV status unless legally required or if it's for your own protection, like when being prescribed drugs, ect. If you are going to share your HIV status voluntarily, then sadly, from time to time, you will be treated differently, and sometimes you will be refused service; if it's not when getting a tattoo or piercing, it will be the dentist, some dense gp or from some backward nurse or whatever other service.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2023, 01:29:59 pm by Jim Allen »
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