Indian Journal of Dermatology
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E-IJD EPIDEMIOLOGY ROUND
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 212

Body-art practices among undergraduate medical university students in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, 2014


Department of Internal Medicine, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Correspondence Address:
Method R Kazaura
Department of Internal Medicine, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam
Tanzania
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Source of Support: Data collection was financially supported by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5154.152567

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Background: Body-art practices are increasing among adolescents and young adults. Although substantial data are available in developed countries, little has been documented about body-art practices in developing countries. Objective: To determine the magnitude, types and reasons for practicing body-art practices among undergraduate medical University students in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducteed among undergraduate University students in Dar es Salaam involving 536 respondents from two Universities. We used a self-administered questionnaire to collect data. Analyses were based on summary measures and bivariate analyses. Results: While 7.5% of undergraduate students reported having tattoos, 20% reported having body puncturing or piercing. Body piercing is reported more among female university undergraduate students than their male counterparts. Reported main reasons for undergoing body-art include "a mark of beauty," 24%, "just wanted one," 18% and "a mark of femininity or masculinity," 17%. The majority (98%) of students were aware that unsafe body-art practices may lead to contracting HIV and more than half (52%) reported awareness of the risk of Hepatitis B infection. Conclusions: Despite high awareness of the potential risks involved in unsafe body arts that include tattoo and piercing, these practices are increasing among adolescents and young adults. There is need to have educational and counseling efforts so as to minimize associated health risks.


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