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Niger J Med. 2011 Jan-Mar;20(1):90-5.

HIV/AIDS and clinical dentistry: assessment of knowledge and attitude of patients attending a university dental centre.

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  • 1Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.



A comprehensive test of knowledge of the public about HIV/AIDS, particularly as it relates to dentistry is not common in the literature. The objectives of this study are: to determine the current knowledge of dental patients about HIV/AIDS and its relationship with clinical dentistry; and to determine the general attitude and practice of dental patients as it relates to HIV infection.


This clinic study was conducted in the outpatient clinics, Dental Centre, University College Hospital, Ibadan. A structured anonymous questionnaire was used to collect data from randomly selected respondents. The formula n= z2pq/d2 was employed to determine the sample size. The items requested includes: educational background, awareness of HIV infection and source of knowledge, features of AIDS, high risk groups, HIV prognosis and routes of infection. Others include attitudes of respondents to HIV epidemics, infected patients, and safe sexual practices.


Majority of the respondents (96.6%) was aware of HIV infection and the commonest source of information was TV and radio. Weight loss was the only feature of AIDS known to most of the respondents and only very few of them were aware of oral features like bleeding and painful gum (HIV gingivitis) and Kaposi's sarcoma. Most of the respondents were not aware that intravenous drug abusers and long distance drivers were high risk groups and most were not aware of the types of dental procedures during which infection could occur. Most of the respondents were aware that HIV infection has a good prognosis and most (64.3%) would like infected patients to have a special designated dental clinic for treatment of infected persons. Only about one-third use condom regularly or occasionally.


Knowledge of the general and oral features of AIDS, the high risk groups and the routes of infection in dental clinical practice were not satisfactory. A cross-section of the respondents showed negative attitudes to infected patients and infection prevention strategies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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