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Knowledge and Attitude of clinical level dental students concerning HIV/AIDS
Objective: To determine the knowledge and attitude of clinical level dental students concerning Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS).
Methods: Two hundred and fifteen clinical level dental students from three Nigerian universities were requested to complete a self- administered questionnaire related to knowledge and attitudes about HIV/AIDS. Parameters assessed included the aetiology and modes of transmission, high- risk groups, common oral and general manifestations, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS.
Results: The male to female ratio was approximately 1:1, with an age range of 20-36 years. The respondents exhibited excellent knowledge of the aetiologic agent, the modes of transmission, high- risk groups, common oral manifestations and prevention of HIV/AIDS. However, they were less knowledgeable about the general features, diagnosis, treatment, aims of treatment and infection control measures. One hundred and sixty (70.4%) of the respondents stated that they did not have any reservations dealing with patients with HIV/AIDS while 55 (29.6%) felt that with improved knowledge they would be more confident in issues related to HIV/AIDS.
Conclusion: Although Nigerian dental students exhibited good knowledge and positive attitude concerning HIV/AIDS, this study showed that knowledge of laboratory investigations and infection control measures were poor. These areas need emphasis in the dental school curriculum.
Keywords: Knowledge, attitude, dental student, HIV/AIDS
Nigerian Dental Journal Vol. 15 (1) 2007: pp. 3-8