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Br Dent J. 2016 Mar 11;220(5):229-33. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2016.172.

The potential role of dentists in HIV screening.

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Hofstra University, Department of Health Professions, Hempstead, New York, USA.
University of Glasgow, Dental School, Glasgow, Scotland.
University College London, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, London, England.


Recent evidence suggests there is a role for the dental team, particularly dentists, in offering chairside HIV screening to patients during dental appointments. HIV is no longer a death sentence with early diagnosis and effective treatment contributing to a good prognosis. Despite the availability of both venipuncture diagnostic and rapid saliva/finger prick screening tests for HIV infection, 25% of people living with HIV in the United Kingdom are undiagnosed and remain at risk of transmitting their infection if having unprotected sex. This paper highlights the international evidence that supports dentists' willingness to conduct HIV screening and dental patient acceptance, and explores whether this is an opportunity or a step too far.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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