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South African Dental Journal

On-line version ISSN 0375-1562
Print version ISSN 0011-8516


BALWANTH, S  and  SINGH, S. Voluntary Counselling and Testing for HIV in the dental setting: Knowledge, attitudes and practices of oral health care workers in eThekwini district, KwaZulu-Natal. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2021, vol.76, n.1, pp.6-11. ISSN 0375-1562.

INTRODUCTION: Oral health care workers are frequently at the forefront in recognizing oral manifestations of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and can therefore play a key role in screening and early detection of HIV in dental patientsAIM AND OBJECTIVES: This study assessed oral health care workers' knowledge, attitudes and possible practices in Voluntary Counselling and rapid HIV testing (VCT) in the dental workplace in eThekwini district, KwaZulu-Natal so as to determine their understanding and support for these services.METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, descriptive study. A total of 120 questionnaires were distributed to oral health workers located in private and public dental settings in eThekwini district. One hundred (n=100) completed questionnaires were retrieved, yielding a response rate of 83%RESULTS: The majority of participants (82%) reported that HIV testing and counselling did not occur in their workplace. Participants (87%) also indicated to have not been trained to perform HIV testing Sixty-six participants (66%) reported willingness to implement HIV testing in their respective dental workplace. Less than half of the study population (41%) were "unsure" regarding the accuracy of rapid HIV testing.CONCLUSION: Participants reported inadequate knowledge and practice of VCT. Participants had positive attitudes towards VCT implementation in the dental setting, provided that adequate training and support was available from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health

Keywords : Rapid HIV testing; dental workplace; oral health care workers.

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