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HIV/AIDS: Knowledge and attitudes of dentists in South-Western Nigeria
Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge and attitudes of dentists in South-Western Nigeria in relation to HIV/AIDS.
Materials and methods: A questionnaire survey of 164 dentists in Lagos, Ibadan and Benin The data was analyzed using Epi-info statistical software.
Results: The modes of transmission incorrectly identified by the respondents were through saliva (25%), mosquito bites (1.8%), and touching (1.8%). Although not statistically significant, general practitioners gave more incorrect responses to known modes of transmission of HIV than other cadres. About one-quarter of all the respondents did not know the high risk groups. Ninety- two percent knew the precautions to be taken to prevent HIV transmission in the clinic. About 43% of all the dentists had not attended any continuous education course on HIV. Over three-quarters (78.4%) of dentists indicated a willingness to treat HIV/AIDS patients. Males were significantly more willing to treat than females(p<0.05). About 50% of dentists were dissatisfied with their infection control practices. Males were significantly more dissatisfied than females (p<0.05).
Conclusions: This study has revealed gaps in the knowledge of HIVAIDS among dentists in South-western Nigeria. A large proportion of dentists had not attended any continuous education course on HIV. About half of the dentists were dissatisfied with their infection control practices. However, majority of dentists had a positive attitude towards treatment of HIV/AIDS patients and continuous education on HIV/AIDS. There is need to improve knowledge of HIV/AIDS through continuous health education courses especially for general practitioners. In addition there is need to encourage greater compliance with universally accepted guidelines for infection control.
Nigerian Journal of Health and Biomedical Sciences Vol. 7 (1) 2008 pp. 36-41