Cannot confirm the ink pot had been cleaned since previous uses but it was dry
If you HAD contracted HIV and if you DID develop ARS, symptoms would not begin for at least 2-6 WEEKS. Whatever your symptoms are, they are NOT related to HIV. My guess would be a cold, the flu or ANXIETY!
Unfortunately there is no such thing as a "checklist of HIV symptoms" that we can use to determine an infection and we strongly discourage people to (self)diagnose HIV by looking at symptoms.
Getting a tattoo always carries a risk, but if this shop bothered to clean your arm, you saw that the needle was new and they used separate ink pots, I would say that's a good indication they follow proper precautions.
I have some ink myself and even here in the US, a couple of the places I went to, which were highly recommended, looked, well, very far from "surgical" if you know what I mean.
The only way you will know if you contracted HIV is to test with a blood drawn test.
If you absolutely can not let your fear go, have a 4th generation DUO test done at 28 post your tattoo. This test will give you an excellent indication of your status, but I would highly recommend a confirmatory test at 12 weeks for 100% conclusive results.
I think you're fine, but we gotta do what we gotta do.
Thank you for the response, should I even bother getting tested? Is there actually a big enough risk from a tattoo? I've been so anxious lately so I am sure you're right and that's causing muscle weakness especially since not been sleeping so well.
I don't believe you need to test, but I'M not the one living with the anxiety!
You have to decide for yourself if you can let this go. And there's nothing wrong if you can't. HIV is a rather nasty thing and if you'll feel better, then go ahead and test. Peace of mind is worth its weight in gold.
As I think I said before, there is ALWAYS a risk for HIV when getting inked, but if the shop follows hygienic rules and regulations, even if the place looks like a shipwreck, you have nothing to worry about.
I'm virtually positive your "symptoms" are being triggered by anxiety, which, if you ignore it, can and will overtake your life.
If you can't get that under control, test. It's just not worth it!
Thank you so much for your input, you really have made me feel much better about it. I talked to the tattoo artist about his shop today and putting that together with the information you provided has made me feel so much better and think I'll finally get some sleep tonight. Definitely won't be doing this again. Thank you again.
I'm glad to hear you took the bull by the horns and went in and talked to the tat artist. That was extremely clever on your part!
I'm relieved that you are feeling so much less anxious now!
Have a great sleep tonight! LOL