Oral health-care workers and HIV infection control practices in Nigeria

Ogunbodede, E, Folayan M, Adedigba M.  2005.  Oral health-care workers and HIV infection control practices in Nigeria, 2005/08/01. Tropical doctor. 35:147-50.


The first case of HIV infection was reported in Nigeria in 1986. Since then, the prevalence has risen from less than 0.1% in 1987 to 5.8% in 2002, and an estimated 3.6 million Nigerians now live with HIV/AIDS. More than 40 oral manifestations of HIV infection have been recorded and between 70% and 90% of persons with HIV infection will have at least one oral manifestation at sometime during the course of their disease. Oral health-care workers (OHCWS) are expected to play active roles in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS. In this study, a one-day workshop was organized for 64 oral health workers in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, focusing on the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS, the oral manifestations, control and prevention of HIV in a dental environment, oral care of the infected patient and the ethical, legal and social aspects of HIV/AIDS. Participants' knowledge and practices of infection control were assessed with an infection control checklist administered pre- and post-workshop. Sixty (90.8%) respondents believed that HIV/AIDS was not yet a problem in Nigeria, and 58 (90.6%) believed that drugs have been developed which can cure HIV infection and AIDS. The men complied more with waste disposal regulations than women (P = 0.010). Twenty-nine of 58 (50.0%) did not discard gloves which were torn, cut or punctured. Seven (12.1%) did not change gloves between patients' treatment. Conscious efforts should be made to train OHCWS on all aspects of HIV/AIDS prevention and care. It must never be assumed that adequate information will be acquired through tangential sources.