An Investigation of Dentists Knowledge, Attitude and Practices towards HIV+ and Patients with other Blood Borne Viruses in Mosul City


Aims: To investigate a group of Iraqi dentists knowledge about HIV infection and other blood borne viruses. Attitudes towards treating HIV/AIDS patients and behavior practices, methods used for steriliza-tion of dental instruments and vaccination against hepatitis B virus. Materials and Methods:The study population consisted of 210 dentists. The survey instrument was a self-administered questionnaire. Re-sults: General and knowledge of the oral and other conditions related to AIDS patient was relatively low with a mean ranging between 4.21-7.33, with significant difference in gender and specialty on know-ledge .Dentists attitude towards treating HIV patient was low with no significant differences in gender and specialty as 40-70% refused to treat such patient. Younger dentists with service of 5 years were more willing to treat HIV patients compared with those who had more service years. Majority of the sample (89.57%) used dry heat for sterilization of dental instruments, 92.86% of the sample was afraid that a needle stick injury could cause HIV infection. Only 2.38% of the sample used the three proper barrier technique in their work .Female dentists (specialist and dental practitioners) tended to be vaccinated against hepatitis B with highly significant difference compared to males. 97.14% of the sample felt they needed more information about HIV and other blood borne viruses and infection control protocols. Conclusions: More effort of dental educators in teaching dental students about blood borne viruses and that universal precautions must be adopted through faculty policy and reinforced by continuing educa-tional programs for dentists after graduation for refreshment and delivering latest updates about infection control protocols which should be adopted and reinforced at an early level of study .So that barrier techniques become a protocol and a norm in their daily practices as clinicians. Because of certain inade-quacies in knowledge and infection control practices among respondents, a curriculum focusing on the management of blood borne viruses, including infection control is recommended.