Awareness of HIV/AIDS and its oral manifestations among people living with HIV in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
The aim of this study was to investigate the awareness of the oral manifestations of HIV/AIDS and general issues about HIV and AIDS among people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. A structured questionnaire was used to collect information from 187 participants chosen by convenience sampling from NGOs supporting PLHIV. A total of 13.4% of the participants were completely unaware of the oral manifestations of HIV/AIDS whereas all participants were fully aware of general symptoms of AIDS. There were no significant associations between awareness of oral manifestations and general awareness of HIV/AIDS, or level of education. Participants were relatively well aware of the different types of oral manifestations (e.g. oral ulcers 87%, oral candidiasis 84%) while their knowledge of the management of specific oral manifestations and the problems associated with oral manifestations was more limited. It is recommended that health authorities in Tanzania establish population-oriented health education for improving knowledge about oral disease in HIV/AIDS and that oral health professionals provide sound information to PLHIV in community-outreach oral healthcare programmes.