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Awareness of HIV/AIDS and its oral manifestations among people living with HIV in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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Abstract:

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.

Keywords: AFRICA; HEALTH KNOWLEDGE; ORAL CANDIDIASIS; ORAL HAIRY LEUKOPLAKIA; ORAL HYGIENE; ORAL ULCERS; SELF EVALUATION; SYMPTOMS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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  • Co-Published by NISC and Routledge - Subscriber access available here
routledg/ajar/2007/00000006/00000001/art00012
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