Stigma Is The Main Reason For Avoiding Dental Care Among HIV-Positive
According to a community-led survey of 1,576 people living with HIV throughout the UK recruited from across 47 NHS HIV clinics in 2015, people living with HIV reported experiences of stigma and discrimination in the dental services in the UK, just half of them had disclosed their HIV status to dental staff.
The study, led by Alan Hudson and authors from The People Living with HIV STIGMASurvey UK 2015, was presented at the 23rd Annual Conference of British HIV Association (BHIVA) in Liverpool on April. The researchers found a strong relationship between experiences of HIV-related discrimination and avoidance of future dental care.
According to the data presented, of 100% people living with HIV, only 58% were felt in control over disclosure to dental practice. 35% disclosed to dental practice. 27% felt supported upon disclosure to dental practice (two-thirds of the disclosed ones). Over a third of people living with HIV did not feel in control over the disclosure of their HIV status to a dentist or supported upon disclosure.
"Relevant educational tools targeting the dental team should be developed to address HIV-related stigma and discrimination in this setting," the study primary investigator Alan Hudson says.