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Knowledge, practices and attitudes towards HIV positive and AIDS patients among clinical years dental students at the University of Nairobi

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ABSTRACT /SUMMARY

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) have profoundly affected every aspect of the public health sector. There is a possibility of HIV transmission in the oral health care setting and thus adequate knowledge and proper barrier technique practices among dental students and oral health care providers is vital, to prevent their chances of transmission.

The study was a descriptive cross-sectional study. It was done to determine the knowledge, practices and attitudes among clinical year dental students in The University of Nairobi, towards HIVIAIDS patients. This study was conducted at the University of Nairobi Dental School which is located along Argwings Kodhek road in Nairobi.

Pre-tested self-administered questionnaires was used on all the third and fourth year dental undergraduates, and the data obtained was analyzed using SPSS 11.5 and presented in tables, figures, pie-charts and text.

The findings of this study showed that 84.45% of the students indicated that the subject of

HIVIAIDS was well taught in the University of Nairobi. It was also found out that 67.3% of the students got their knowledge on HIVIAIDS from lectures in the university. Less than a half (27%) of the students reported the possibility of HIV transmission via saliva. Pseudomemranous Candidiasis

(PMC) was named as the main oral manifestation of HIVIAIDS by 72.34% of the clinical years dental students. More than a quarter (41.82%) of the students does not inquire about their patient's HIV status during treatment procedures. There were 44(78.6%) students who reported that they would change their management of a patient who is established to have HIV during treatment procedures. This change of management would not however lead to isolation of these patients according to 93% of the students.

In conclusion, most of the clinical years' dental students in the University of Nairobi have adequate knowledge in the management of HIV positive patients and they practice proper and recommended HIV transmission prevention measures. Moreover, majority of the clinical years' dental students have positive attitude towards HIVIAIDS patients that does no lead to stigmatisation of these patients. However, there is no corelation between the gender or the level of study with the knowledge, practice and the attitude towards HIVIAIDS patients among the clinical years' dental students. Although most of the students at University of Nairobi were aware of the various modes of HIV transmission, their knowledge was less accurate with respect to HIV transmission via saliva.

 

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