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J Calif Dent Assoc. 2001 Feb;29(2):149-54.

HIV risk assessment: building on dentistry's history of promoting health.

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USC School of Dentistry, 925 W. 34th St., Room 4338, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0641, USA.


Dentists have demonstrated a willingness to look beyond the mouth and consider the patient's overall presentation in a number of health-related areas. The HIV pandemic is another opportunity to involve the dentist in overall health issues through identification of those individuals at risk for acquiring HIV. This risk assessment activity can be facilitated through the use of a structured risk assessment algorithm that is presented in detail. The purpose of this algorithm is to encourage dentists--when they notice specific conditions or become aware of risky behaviors--to talk with their patients about HIV/AIDS and how the patient may be at risk. The historic success dentists have achieved in conveying information about the prevention of disease and promotion of health should bolster their resolve to expand their discussions with patients to include an HIV risk assessment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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