The role of dental practitioners in Provider Initiated HIV Counseling and Testing (PITC) for patients attending dental practices in Harare, Zimbabwe
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Objective: To assess the role o f Zimbabwean dental practitioners in Provider Initiated H IV Counseling and Testing (PITC). Design: A cross-sectional analytic study was conducted. A structured interviewer administered questionnaire was used to collect data from participants. Setting: Harare private and public dental practices. Subjects: Forty dental practitioners practicing in Harare and two hundred and ninety three patients attending dental practices in Harare were interviewed. Main Outcome Measures: Dental practitioners' practices on HIV counseling and testing for dental patients, acceptability of HIV testing in dental settings and missed opportunities for HIV counseling and testing in dental settings were assessed. Results and Conclusion: Half of the dental practitioners (20) interviewed reported offering HIV counseling to dental patients during their clinical duties. The majority 62% only referred their patients for HIV testing when they presented with oral manifestations of HIV infection. Seventy three percent (29) of practitioners interviewed were not aware of the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare guidelines on HIV counseling and testing. Eighty seven percent (255) of dental patients in this study reported not being counseled nor referred for HIV counseling and testing by their dental practitioner during their dental visits. More than a third (36.5%) of the dental patients experienced repeated missed opportunities for accessing HIV counseling and testing in health settings. The minimal that the dentists may need to be involved with in PITC is counseling their patients and improve referral for care. There is need for continued medical education for dentists on issues related to new HIV interventions or protocols such as PITC.
Additional Citation InformationMucheto, P., Makoni, F., Mahachi, L., Mahomva, L., Rusike, T. A. Z., Masiiwa, A., & Kumbawa, R. (2012).The role of dental practitioners in Provider Initiated HIV Counseling and Testing (PITC) for patients attending dental practices in Harare, Zimbabwe. Central African Journal of Medicine,
University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences