Nigerian Journal of Health and Biomedical Sciences

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Oral health awareness in HIV positive Nigerian adults

OO Taiwo, IS Danfillo, EN Okeke, EC Otoh


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the awareness of a group of HIV-positive Nigerian adults on their oral health status.

Study Design: Cross-sectional study using questionnaires and subsequent oral examinations.

Results: 477 patients were examined. The age range was 16 80 years (Mean = 35 ± 9). 56.4% were females. 338 (70.8%) had post primary education. A total of 203 (42.6%) presented with oral lesions attributable to HIV/AIDS. Though 151 (31.7%) patients claimed to have noticed some abnormalities in their mouths, 101 (66.9%) actually presented with lesions associated with HIV. Clinically detectable oral lesions were also noticed in 102 (31.3%) of 326 patients who reportedly experienced no problem with their oral health out of which 17 of them had multiple lesions. Lesions commonly noticed includes; Candidiasis, Xerostomia, Herpes Stomatitis and Aphthous Ulcerations. Patient's educational level did not affect their ability to detect a change in their mouths (X2=2.932, p=0.402).

Conclusion: The awareness of HIV-positive patients to their oral health is poor. As oral manifestations of HIV/AIDS could be the first sign of infestation, the general public should be encouraged to observe routine dental visits.

Keywords: oral health, HIV/AIDS, Nigerian

Nigerian Journal of Health and Biomedical Sciences Vol. 5(1) 2006: 7-11
AJOL African Journals Online