The Opposition says it would be unsafe if the Health Department did not release the name of a Balinese tattoo parlour where a West Australian reportedly contracted HIV.
It comes amid strong opposition to the move, including from the WA AIDS Council, whose executive director Trish Langdon said revealing the parlour could do more harm than good.
WA Health last month learnt of the WA case and, while it has not release the victim’s details, said evidence linked the case to a tattoo parlour in Bali as the source.
Department of Health Communicable Disease Control Director Dr Paul Armstrong urged anyone who had recently had a tattoo done in Bali to consult their GP and consider tests for HIV and other blood-borne viruses.
Opposition health spokesperson Paul Papalia said it was a “matter of urgency” to reveal the parlour so recent clients could be tested immediately.
“Why are the Barnett Government being so pigheaded about not releasing the identity of this tattoo parlour,” he asked.
“Tens of thousands of West Australians go to Bali.
“The people who have visited this premises in recent times should know about it so they can get tested.
“I think it’s their right to know if the Government knows.”
WA Health and the Department of Health and Ageing today told PerthNow the parlour would remain anonymous.
Ms Langdon also agreed with the government’s stance.
“Releasing the name would lull visitors into a false sense of security,” she said.
“If you go overseas there are not the same health standards and regulations that we have in WA or Australia.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Bali or any other country.
“In principle I think it’s best for people to be cautious about any practices that involve skin piercing (when overseas).”
She said unprotected sex was another risk for holidaymakers overseas.
“The same goes for any other behaviour, research shows our behaviour changes on holiday because we’re more relaxed,” she said.
Mr Papalia said releasing the parlour name could only help increase awareness of the issue.
“It doesn’t dilute the message that any (foreign) tattoo parlour can spread HIV,” he said.
“Why should the Government know and keep it secret?”