HIV/AIDS: Knowledge and attitudes of first and second year Indian dental students
The increased likelihood of HIV/ AIDS infection reaching epidemic heights in South-East Asian countries like India makes it crucial for health care workers, including dentists, to be well informed and adequately prepared to encounter this challenge. Dentists can play an important role in the early diagnosis and detection of HIV/ AIDS as many patients present with intra-oral manifestations of the disease (Gerbert, 1987). The attitudes of dental students with regard to AIDS a,re of prime importance because dental students represent the future of the profession. The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge of and attitudes related to HIV/ AIDS of first and second year Indian dental students. A s::imple of 66 first and second year students enrolled at Government Dental College and Hospital (GDC&H) in Mumbai, India participated in the study. A survey questionnaire developed by the researcher was utilized to collect data for the study. The findings of this study present insight on how well the dental students are prepared to deal with the HIV/ AIDS epidemic in India and what additional efforts are warranted in this direction.