Main Organiser

Julius Centre University of Malaya

Co-organiser

Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malay

Supported by

University of Malaya

KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS HIV/AIDS: A SURVEY AMONG DENTAL STUDENTS IN AJMAN, UAE

Author

Gamini Premadasa, Maha Sadek, Arjuna Ellepola, Jayadevan Sreedharan, Jayakumary Muttapallymyalil

Institution

Gulf Medical University, Ajman, UAE

Abstract

Objectives: With increased prevalence and new treatments emerging, encounters between HIV/AIDS patients and dentists will rise. This study assessed the dental students’ knowledge about transmission and oral manifestations in HIV/AIDS, and attitudes towards patients regarding obligations and willingness to treat.

Methods: 106 out of 109 dental students responded to a questionnaire on knowledge about and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS. Knowledge and attitude scores were analyzed with Kruskal-Wallis one-way ANOVA and the gender differences with Wilcoxon Signed-rank Test.

Results: The median score for students’ overall knowledge was 39.5 (67%; maximum possible 59). The median knowledge scores for males and females were 38 and 40 respectively, but the difference was not statistically significant. The knowledge levels in Year 4 (42.5±4.7), Year 3 (44 ±6.5), and Year 2 (42 ±5.8), were similar but significantly higher than in Year 1(33 ±7.9; p<0.01). The median attitude score was 14 out of 24, with no significant differences within genders and years of study.

Conclusion: Although the level of knowledge of the senior students was higher than that of the first years’, the negative attitudes remained largely unchanged. Appropriate educational programs may alter the misconceptions and the negative attitudes.