Awareness and attitude of Nigerian dentists to occupational HIV post-exposure prophylaxis

  • SA Okeigbemen
  • AA Umweni
Keywords: HIV post-exposure prophylaxis, Dentist, awareness.

Abstract

Background: The incidence of human immunodeficiency virus infection in Nigeria remains worrisome. Dentists are increasingly becoming at risk of occupational exposure to the virus. Post-exposure prophylaxis is known to reduce the risk of sero-conversion when appropriately administered. This study assessed the awareness and attitude of Nigerian Dentists towards post-exposure prophylaxis.
Methods: A total of 177 Nigerian Dentists from the geopolitical regions of Nigeria were surveyed in 2003 by use of a self-administered questionnaire in a cross sectional, purposive, pilot study and assessed for awareness and attitude to HIV post-exposure prophylaxis.
Results: The mean age of respondents was 33.2 years (S.D = 7.66). Sixty-one percent were males while 39% were females. Seventy five percent are General Dental Practitioners and 25% Specialists. Similarly,
80.8% are government employed and 19.2% in private practice. About 58.8% of the total respondents reported being aware of occupational post exposure prophylaxis, 33.3% were not aware while 7.9% were unsure. About 84.7% indicated a willingness to accept, 5.1% were not willing to accept and 10.2% were unsure of whether to accept or reject the post-exposure prophylaxis regime. By geopolitical zone, Dental Surgeons from the South West (63.5%) were more aware of PEP than other zones while Dentists from the North Central and North West (88%) were most willing to accept post-exposure prophylaxis. Only 38.9% had attended continuing medical education on human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency disease in the preceeding two years.
Conclusion: This study indicates that slightly over half the population of Nigeria Dentists is aware of and have good attitude to occupational human immunodeficiency virus post-exposure prophylaxis treatment. Continuing medical education programmes on human immunodeficiency  virus/acquired immune deficiency disease is recommended.
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