Knowledge, Attitude and Health Behavior of Dental Students towards HIV Patients


Aim: To investigate a group of Iraqi dental students knowledge about HIV infection, attitudes towards
treating HIV/AIDS patients and behavior practices. Materials and Methods: The study population
consisted of 220 dental students from University of Mosul, College of Dentistry who were treating
patients in the clinics of the College. The survey instrument was a self–administered questionnaire.
Results General and knowledge of the oral and other conditions related to AIDS patient was low, students
attitude towards treating HIV patient was low (167) refused to treat such patient with a highly
significant difference, most of the students (160) were willing to treat HBV (hepatitis B patient ) compared
to only 60 that agreed to treat HIV patient , (32.7%), of the student had experienced a needle
stick injury, (65.9%) of the students stated that an AIDS patient should be referred to a supporting
group to provide him with dental treatment. A significant difference in the number and percentage of
students that knew they needed to undertake precautionary measures in treating patients which was 213
compared to 7 students only. The three types of barrier technique during routine work was not undertaken
by any of the students, 213 students i.e. (96.4%) required more knowledge concerning infection
control, cross infection, modes of transmission of the disease. Conclusions: These findings clearly
highlights the importance of the teaching emphasis of dental educators on the disease, it is vital that
universal precautions also should be adopted through faculty policy and reinforced at an early level of
study, so that the barrier techniques become a protocol and a norm in their daily practices as clinicians.
Because of certain inadequacies in knowledge and infection control practices among respondents, a
curriculum focusing on the management of HIV/AIDS, including infection for all blood borne diseases
is recommended.