HIV risk assessment: building on dentistry's history of promoting health

J Calif Dent Assoc. 2001 Feb;29(2):149-54.


Dentists have demonstrated a willingness to look beyond the mouth and consider the patient's overall presentation in a number of health-related areas. The HIV pandemic is another opportunity to involve the dentist in overall health issues through identification of those individuals at risk for acquiring HIV. This risk assessment activity can be facilitated through the use of a structured risk assessment algorithm that is presented in detail. The purpose of this algorithm is to encourage dentists--when they notice specific conditions or become aware of risky behaviors--to talk with their patients about HIV/AIDS and how the patient may be at risk. The historic success dentists have achieved in conveying information about the prevention of disease and promotion of health should bolster their resolve to expand their discussions with patients to include an HIV risk assessment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • California
  • Dental Care for Chronically Ill*
  • Dentist-Patient Relations*
  • HIV Infections / blood
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / etiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Needles / adverse effects
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transfusion Reaction