London, Mar 18 (ANI): A celebrity tattoo artist has admitted to being HIV-positive, but insists that he has every right to keep quiet about it.
Henry Hate, 40, said that he knew the risks involved, but the disease was not something he could tell everyone about.
"I'm professional and know the risk factors involved. I take every precaution," the Sun quoted him as saying.
"I don't think it's something I should brag about. It's a personal thing. I don't tell the general public.
"But some of my close customers who I have had for years are very aware.
"There are a few celeb clients who have known for a while - but I don't tell all my friends," he added.
Hate, who runs the Prick Tattoo and Piercing parlour in Shoreditch, East London, insists that he always wears gloves while etching with single-use needles, but news of him being HIV-positive still freaks people out.
"A pal freaked out when they found out Henry was HIV positive," a former friend said.
Hate's celebrity customers include Amy Winehouse, Pete Doherty, Boy George, fashion designer Alexander McQueen, and Celeb Big Brother's Preston.
Hate, whose real name is Henry Martinez, never mentioned his illness to the Council.
"I never mentioned that I was HIV-positive to Hackney Council because they never asked me," he said.
"If they had, I would have been honest with them but I didn't see the need to tell them.
"I would be happy to comply with any extra precautions," he added.
Council officials said that all customers were protected by strict safety rules, which were enforced by regular spot checks.
"We do not require tattooists to notify the council of any disease, but we do require them to ensure the health and safety of their customers by complying with stringent hygiene procedures," a spokeswoman said. (ANI)