The Prevalence of Skin-tattooing and HIV among Students of Three Tertiary Institutions in Ondo State, Southwest, Nigeria
Journal of Advances in Microbiology,
With the huge potential health hazards and dangers associated with skin and sclera tattooing, there is hardly any responsible government anywhere that will not take interest in the rate and manner its populace in general and the youths in particular engage in the practice of skin tattooing and put some form of regulations in place. This study is aimed at determining the prevalence of skin tattooing among the undergraduates of three universities in Ondo State (Southwest, Nigeria) and also determine if any of those with tattoos had contacted any blood-borne diseases as a result of this. This is especially needful in a country like Nigeria that does not yet have any regulations in place as regards the practice of skin-tattooing. One hundred each, making a total of three hundred participants were enrolled in the study from the three universities. Five millilitre of blood from each subject was screened for the presence HIV antibodies (DETERMINE®) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The subjects were also asked to complete a structured self-administered questionnaire. The result revealed a zero sero-prevalence of antibodies to HIV, but a skin tattooing prevalence of 20%, 9% and 0% among the undergraduates of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko; Achiever’s University, Owo and Federal University of Technology, Akure, respectively. Thus representing an overall skin tattooing prevalence of 9.6%. The study also showed that 8.3% of the subjects had a history of blood transfusion, while 7.3% had a history of surgery. It was therefore concluded that skin tattooing was not a statistically significant major risk factor for HIV/AIDS among the undergraduates, though this does not in any way obliterate the potent potential risk for the transmission of HIV that is inherent in any practice like skin tattooing that pierces the human skin with sharp or pointed objects.