Awareness of HIV/AIDS and its oral manifestations among people living
AbstractThe aim of this study was to investigate the awareness of the oral manifestations of HIV/AIDS and general issues about HIV and AIDS among people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. A structured questionnaire was used to collect information from 187 participants chosen by convenience sampling from NGOs supporting PLHIV. A total of 13.4% of the participants were completely unaware of the oral manifestations of HIV/AIDS whereas all participants were fully aware of general symptoms of AIDS. There were no significant associations between awareness of oral manifestations and general awareness of HIV/AIDS, or level of education. Participants were relatively well aware of the different types of oral manifestations (e.g. oral ulcers 87%, oral candidiasis 84%) while their knowledge of the management of specific oral manifestations and the problems associated with oral manifestations was more limited. It is recommended that health authorities in Tanzania establish population-oriented health education for improving knowledge about oral disease in HIV/AIDS and that oral health professionals provide sound information to PLHIV in community-outreach oral healthcare programmes.
Keywords: Africa, health knowledge, oral ulcers, oral candidiasis, oral hairy leukoplakia, oral hygiene, self evaluation, symptoms
African Journal of AIDS Research 2007, 6(1): 91–95