AIDS education in dental hygiene programs in the United States and Canada

J Dent Hyg. Mar-Apr 1991;65(3):124-9.


The purpose of this study was to determine school policies, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) -related content areas, and curricula hours devoted to AIDS study in accredited schools of dental hygiene. The sample included all 217 accredited programs in the United States and Canada. Eighty-five percent (184) of the sample completed the 10-item questionnaire. Results reveal that 98% of the respondents include information on the oral disease manifestations of AIDS in their curricula. Over 70% of the sample include material on AIDS etiology, incidence, epidemiology, general clinical symptoms, HIV testing, attitudes and fears of practitioners, and dental hygiene care and treatment. Most schools spend four to 10 curricula hours covering general content on AIDS. Over one-half of the respondents require students to use special infection control protocols. When treating known infectious disease patients. Most schools responding have policies which favor student treatment of HIV-positive patients, and the majority of the respondents do not have a written policy concerning admitting students who are HIV-positive. Less than 30% of the schools teach financing of AIDS-related healthcare or AIDS resources. One respondent admitted not including any AIDS information in the curricula. Results suggest that most accredited schools of dental hygiene in the United States and Canada should include additional information on AIDS in their curricula to ensure student competency in providing oral healthcare to HIV-infected individuals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Canada
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Curriculum
  • Dental Hygienists / education*
  • Humans
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States