Background: Dentists have an ethical responsibility to provide treatment to HIV-infected patients, particularly because oral lesions are common among these patients. However, there are no official guidelines about how to treat people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or how to screen for potentially infectious people. It is obvious that having adequate knowledge about HIV/AIDS enhances the doctors’ confidence in their ability to manage the infected patients. The present study was conducted to assess the self-reported knowledge and attitude of private dental practitioners towards the treatment of HIV/AIDS-infected individuals.
Methods: The present study was a questionnaire-based study which explored the factors associated with the ‘self-reported knowledge and attitude of private dental practitioners towards the treatment of HIV/AIDS-infected individuals’.
Results: The willingness to treat patients with HIV was found to be 52.8% among the dental practitioners in the present study, but the majority (54.8%) of the dentists thought that treating an HIV patient would have an effect on the other patients’ attitude in receiving treatment/dental care from them. Also, the majority (42.6%) of the dentists thought that infection control procedures necessary for the treatment of the patients with HIV were not a financial burden for the practice.
Conclusion: The level of dental practitioners’ knowledge regarding HIV and AIDS was found to be average in the present study. The dental school curriculum must be updated and improved in order to enhance the knowledge of students as well teachers about the treatment of HIV/AIDS-infected individuals.