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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 59-63

Knowledge of HIV/AIDS and attitude of dental students towards HIV/AIDS patients: A cross-sectional survey


Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Subharti Dental College, Meerut, India

Correspondence Address:
Prashant B Patil
Professor, Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Subharti Dental College, NH-58, Subhartipuram, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh - 250 005
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-7761.103676

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Background: The HIV epidemic poses significant challenges to the healthcare providers including dentists. The present study is aimed to estimate the knowledge of HIV/AIDS and the attitude of dental students towards HIV/AIDS patients and to know whether knowledge has any influence on the attitude and willingness to treat HIV/AIDS patients. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out on 219 dental students studying at the Subharti Dental College and Hospital, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India. The students completed a predesigned self-administered questionnaire assessing the knowledge, attitude and willingness to treat HIV/AIDS patients. The data were analyzed using ANOVA test (all the results are calculated at 1% level of significance) and Pearson correlation test. Results: The total mean knowledge score was 76.5% (excellent knowledge). There was a significant difference in knowledge among the third-year, final-year students and internees, which was found to be statistically significant (P>0.001%). The study showed that the overall mean attitude score was 62.9% (negative attitude). There was no significant difference in the attitude of the students among the three groups (P>0.001%). Karl Pearson correlation test showed no significant correlation between the knowledge of HIV/AIDS and the attitude of students towards HIV/AIDS patients (P>0.01%). Conclusions: The findings suggest that although the students had adequate knowledge about HIV/AIDS, their attitude towards this group of people was negative. From the study, fear of HIV contagion was observed as a major reason for the negative attitude of students towards HIV/AIDS patients.


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