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Ink Tank

Go for the cheap tattoos. Stay for the free HIV test.

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Tattoo artists and AIDS specialists work side by side at Voodoo Monkey’s Bod-Mod Tour this afternoon. The event is sponsored by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Community Center of Greater Cleveland, which will slash $10 off all tattoos and piercings . . . as long as you sign up for a free HIV test too. “People need to be aware of the procedures that a tattoo or piercing salon goes through to be safe,” says spokeswoman Mika Major. “This will bring together two audiences that typically don’t meet.”

The Voodoo Monkey studio usually charges $100 an hour to draw and apply tattoos. The discount certainly helps ease the price sting, says patron Karen Kressler, who plans to take advantage of today’s special. “How can you go wrong?” she says. “You get 10 bucks lopped off, plus you can find out if you have the virus. It can be a lifesaver.” That’s what Major wants to hear. If the center can get you to take HIV tests by baiting them with cheap tats, she’s all for colorful body art. “It has everything to do with self-expression,” she says. “People have been tattooing and piercing since they’ve been on this Earth. It’s a rite of passage.”
Sat., Oct. 6, 1-5 p.m., 2007

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