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J Can Dent Assoc. 2016 Feb;82:g1.

STIGMA AROUND HIV IN DENTAL CARE: PATIENTS' EXPERIENCES.

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1
University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC.

Abstract

Tooth decay and other oral diseases can be highly prevalent among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Even though dental professionals are trained to provide equal and non-judgemental services to all, intentional or unintentional biases may exist with regard to PLWHA. We conducted qualitative descriptive research using individual interviews to explore the experiences of PLWHA accessing dental care services in Vancouver, Canada. We interviewed 25 PLWHA, aged 23-67 years; 21 were men and 60% reported fair or poor oral health. Thematic analysis showed evidence of both self-stigma and public stigma with the following themes: fear, self-stigma and dental care; overcoming past offences during encounters with dental care professionals; resilience and reconciliation to achieve quality care for all; and current encounters with dental care providers. Stigma attached to PLWHA is detrimental to oral care. The social awareness of dental professionals must be enhanced, so that they can provide the highest quality care to this vulnerable population.

PMID:
27548661
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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