Tattoo shop owner says he ‘personally’ doesn’t want to serve people with HIV

A tattoo shop owner has defended his decision not to serve a customer with HIV – claiming he is “personally” against doing so because of “the risk”.

People living with HIV who are taking medication cannot pass on the virus and do not pose any risk to others if their viral load is being managed correctly.

However PinkNews reported earlier this week that the Vida Loca studio in Bolton refused to serve a 19-year-old who is living with HIV.

After mentioning his HIV status to the tattooist, George Westwood was told that the shop’s manager would not allow the procedure, and a deposit he had paid was returned to him.

The owner of the tattoo shop, Daniel Weston, defended his actions during an appearance on the Victoria Derbyshire Show this morning (May 31).

HIV-positive gay student George Westwood and tattoo shop owner Daniel Weston (BBC)

The shop owner initially claimed that “the reason he was refused is because he wasn’t covered by our insurance”, and that “the insurer said we’re not insured and they wouldn’t cover it, so they couldn’t do the tattoo”.

However, he went on to suggest that he “personally” would have opposed serving the customer even without the alleged incorrect advice from the insurer.

He said: “My job as the owner is to look after the health and safety before anything, the safety of my staff, the customer and myself.

“My personal opinion is that, even if I was insured, I personally wouldn’t want to do it, because there still is a risk. Why take a chance of a risk, and spreading the virus?

“As a society we’re trying to reduce the risk… there’s always risk. It’s impossible to 100 percent eradicate the risk.

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