Document Type : Original Article


Department of Public Health Dentistry, Goa Dental College and Hospital, Bambolim, Goa, India


CONTEXT: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a public health problem in India. Dentist plays
an important role in diagnosing since oral lesions are common in HIV‑positive patients and have an
ethical responsibility to provide treatment to them.
AIMS: This study aims to explore educational and promotional opportunities for implementing oral
rapid HIV testing (ORHT) among dentists in Bengaluru, India.
SETTINGS AND DESIGN: A cross‑sectional study was conducted among 300 dentists. Dentists
were included from private practice, dental practice in general hospital, and dental teaching/hospitals.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A 43‑item questionnaire was used to assess demographics, educational
knowledge on HIV and ORHT, attitude toward HIV patients, and willingness to promote ORHT and
perceived barriers of performing ORHT.
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS USED: The data were evaluated using SPSS 22. Student’s t‑test,
Chi‑square, Pearson correlation, and binary logistics were used keeping P value at 5%.
RESULTS: Mean age of the participants was 38.97 ± 7.69 years with equal distribution of gender
and practice. Majority were postgraduates (63.0%) and having general practice (56.6%). Although
two‑thirds of the participants belong to high score category, the mean knowledge level is below 50%.
Mean score of knowledge was 10.70 ± 2.5. One hundred and thirty (43.3%) dentists were aware of
ORHT, and 228 (76%) thought that ORHT was needed in the dental clinic. Dentist having specialty
practice felt more accepting of ORHT (odds ratio = 2.455, 95% confidence interval 1.186–5.463).
The lack of knowledge and training was the main barrier (39%) to conduct ORHT.
CONCLUSIONS: The level of knowledge of the dentist about HIV/AIDS was acceptable. Majority
of the dentist thought that ORHT is needed in a dental clinic. Overall, there was positive attitude
toward HIV patients and ORHT.


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