Dental students' knowledge of human immunodeficiency virus

Ajayi, Y.O. ; Ajayi, E.O. (2008-03)

Staff publications

Article

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated final year dental students' knowledge of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), lesions associated with HIV, potential transmission routes of HIV, and their perception of the teaching received on cross-infection precautions, virology, sterilization practice and procedure, barrier dentistry and recognition of blood-borne virus risk group. METHODOLOGY: Structured questionnaires on knowledge of human immunodeficiency virus were filled by final year dental students of University of Lagos, Nigeria. A total of 35 out of 37 questionnaires were returned filled giving a response rate of 94.6%. RESULTS: Most of the students rated the teaching they received on cross-infection precautions, sterilization practice and procedure, as adequate. More than a quarter (28.5%) of the students rated the teaching they received on virology and recognition of blood-borne virus risk group to be less than adequate. Most of the students were able to recognize the association of oral Kaposi sarcoma, oral candidiasis, oral hairy leukoplakia, and salivary gland enlargement with HIV infection. There was a much lower level of knowledge of oral melanotic hyperpigmentation and idiopathic thrombocytopaenic pupura. Their knowledge of HIV and its potential transmission routes were adequate. CONCLUSION: This study revealed that final year dental students of the University of Lagos in southwestern region of Nigeria had adequate knowledge of routes of transmission of HIV in clinical practice. However, there is need for improvement in teaching of the students on virology and recognition of blood-borne virus risk group.