Brazilian dental students' knowledge and attitudes towards HIV infection

E. R. Oliveira, S. Narendran, A. Falcão

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to investigate a group of Brazilian dental students' knowledge about HIV infection, the infection control measures utilized by the dental students, and students' attitudes towards treating HIV/AIDS patients. The study population consisted of 250 dental students from Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil, who were treating patients in clinics of the university and extra-mural rotations at the time of the study. The survey instrument was a self-administered questionnaire which consisted of 32 pre-coded questions and two open-ended questions. The overall response rate to the questionnaire was 54%. More than 80% of respondents (N = 135) considered every dental patient a potential HIV carrier. A majority of the students were aware of the association between HIV and Kaposi's sarcoma (92.5%), oral candidiasis (90.3%) and oral hairy leukoplakia (52.7%). A gender difference was observed in students' knowledge of oral manifestations and infection control measures, with females having better knowledge than males (p < 0.05). Because of certain inadequacies in knowledge and infection control practices among respondents, a curriculum focusing on the management of HIV/AIDS, including infection control and legal issues is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-576
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Psychology


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