Rapid HIV testing in dental practices

Am J Public Health. 2012 Apr;102(4):625-32. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300509. Epub 2012 Feb 16.


Despite increasing discussion about the dental care setting as a logical, potentially fruitful venue for rapid HIV testing, dentists' willingness to take on this task is unclear. Semistructured interviews with 40 private practice dentists revealed their principal concerns regarding offering patients HIV testing were false results, offending patients, viewing HIV testing as outside the scope of licensure, anticipating low patient acceptance of HIV testing in a dental setting, expecting inadequate reimbursement, and potential negative impact on the practice. Dentists were typically not concerned about transmission risks, staff opposition to testing, or making referrals for follow-up after a positive result. A larger cultural change may be required to engage dentists more actively in primary prevention and population-based HIV screening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Dental Clinics / organization & administration*
  • Dentists / psychology*
  • Diagnosis, Oral / methods*
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / methods*
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • HIV
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Dentists'*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results