The Badung Regency government is planning new regulations to ensure that tattoo parlours follow strict procedures to prevent the spread of HIV.
The announcement comes after allegations last month that Australian tourists had contracted the disease after getting a tattoo while on holiday in Bali.
Although the West Australian health authorities, which made the original claim, did not provide details to substantiate the allegations, the Badung government, which covers Kuta where many tattoo parlours are located, announced that it would take action anyway.
Government spokesman Wayan Puspa Negara said that although the HIV claims had not been proven, it was necessary to ensure hygiene standards.
“Protection against tools which may transmit diseases is important,” he said, adding that there were hundreds of tattooists at work in the regency, especially in the tourists areas.
Provincial Health Department head Nyoman Sutedja said that the provincial government supported the Badung plan.
“This arrangement is an important effort to monitor high risk areas such as Badung where there are many cafes, and places of entertainment related to tourism,” he said.
Sutedja said that the West Australian authorities had still failed to provided detailed evidence for their allegations, and that the national health authorities in Jakarta had also sought clarification on the issue. However, he said that that tighter checks on tattoo parlours were a positive move, whether or not a HIV infection of a tourist had actually taken place or not.
“We have approached three major tattooists associations, and they are very open to assist in the process of socialisation and training related to the standardisation of tattoo and piercing studio practices,” he said.