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J Public Health Dent. 2012 Winter;72(1):60-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.2011.00284.x. Epub 2011 Oct 10.

Factors associated with preventive dental care-seeking behavior among people living with HIV.

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Department of Health Policy and Management, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.



This study examined factors associated with preventive dental care-seeking behavior among HIV-positive adults who participated in a federally funded demonstration project to expand access to oral health care.


Two thousand one hundred eighty-seven adults living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the United States were enrolled in free dental care and were interviewed about their reasons for seeking care, their oral health, and overall health status. Multivariate analysis using Generalized Estimating Equations to control for clustering by site was conducted to identify factors associated with preventive care-seeking behavior.


Forty-one percent of participants reported the only reason they sought dental care was for preventive care, to receive a checkup or cleaning. Factors associated with preventive care-seeking behavior in multivariate analysis included no unmet need for dental care since testing HIV positive, no dental insurance, taking HIV medications and better overall oral health.


Many HIV-positive adults may seek preventive care when it is offered at no cost. Interventions that address unmet needs and target individuals who are not taking HIV medications or have poorer oral health may improve preventive practices.

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