Tattoos have become more popular again over the past decade, with licensed tattoo parlors taking precautions to reduce the transmission of blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS.
Unfortunately, it appears that even with such precautions, a new bacteria in the Tuberculosis family, Mycobacterium Haemophilum, has been found in otherwise healthy people getting tattoos. It seems to be acquired from the tap water used to dilute the ink.
Unfortunately, Mycobaterium Haemophilum is hard to treat and takes months to clear, even with the few special antibiotics that are effective.
Like with many diseases, the safest choice is avoiding exposure all together, and not getting tattoos.However, using sterile water to dilute the inks appears to be the next best choice.