The Third Decade of HIV/AIDS: A Brief Epidemiologic Update for Dentistry
• Linda M. Kaste, DDS, PhD •
• Helene Bednarsh, RDH, MPH •
A b s t r a c t
Dental professionals currently entering the dental workforce are witness to a significantly different set of oral health issues with HIV than those encountered when the epidemic began. Populations at risk for infection have changed over time and, in Canada, the United States, and the rest of the world, higher proportions of minorities and women have become infected. Medication regimens that help manage HIV as a more chronic disease have affected its presentation, its frequency and, perhaps, the significance of its oral manifestations. These medications may provoke comorbidities that challenge medical and dental disease management and health promotion. The dental office may become a site for rapid testing for HIV. The complexity of HIV infection and treatment behooves all health care professionals to be aware of developments in the prevention and epidemiology of HIV infection, and in oral health care for patients who are HIV-positive.
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