Individuals with HIV/ AIDS

  Population considerations

  • 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.

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