Increased risk of oral infection. Individuals with HIV/AIDS are at an increased risk for oral infections and disease. Pain caused by infection can lead to difficulty in eating or drinking. As a result, dehydration and malnutrition can set in and cause dramatic weight loss (Ogunbodede, 2005).
Attitudes of oral health providers. Providers may have negative attitudes about treating individuals with HIV/AIDS (Lueveswanij, 2000).
Strategies to address these considerations
Provide education. Individuals with HIV/AIDS should be educated about the importance of oral health and the increased risk for complications.
Increase provider competence. It is important to enhance providers’ abilities to work with individuals with HIV/AIDS. This may include specific skills training as well as providing information about transmission of the disease.