Managing HIV/hepatitis positive patients: present approach of dental health care workers and students

J Contemp Dent Pract. 2012 Nov 1;13(6):882-5. doi: 10.5005/jp-journals-10024-1246.


People with HIV/HBsAg in India frequently encounter discrimination while seeking and receiving health care services. The knowledge and attitudes of health care workers (HCWs) influences the willingness and ability of people with HIV/HBsAg to access care, and the quality of the care they receive. The objective of this study was to asses HIV/HBsAg-related knowledge, attitudes and risk perception among students and dental HCWs. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 250 students and 120 dental HCWs in the form of objective questionnaire. Information was gathered regarding demographic details (age, sex, duration of employment, job category); HIV/ HBsAg-related knowledge and attitudes; risk perception; and previous experience caring for HIV-positive patients. The HCWs in this study generally had a positive attitude to care for the people with HIV/HBsAg. However, this was tempered by substantial concerns about providing care, and the fear of occupational infection with HIV/HBsAg. A continuing dental education program was conducted to resolve all the queries found interfering to provide care to HIV/HBsAg patients. But even after the queries were resolved the care providing capability was not attained. These findings show that even with advanced knowledge and facilities the attitude of dental HCWs and students require more strategic training with regards to the ethics and moral stigma associated with the dreaded infectious diseases (HIV/HBsAg).

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Auxiliaries / ethics
  • Dental Auxiliaries / psychology*
  • Dental Care for Chronically Ill* / ethics
  • Dentists / ethics
  • Dentists / psychology*
  • Education, Dental
  • Employment
  • Ethics, Dental
  • Fear / psychology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • HIV Seropositivity* / psychology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / blood
  • Hepatitis B* / psychology
  • Hepatitis B* / transmission
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Prejudice
  • Risk Assessment
  • Social Stigma
  • Students, Dental / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens