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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 219-224

HIV-related discrimination among senior dental students in Jeddah

1 Department of Dental Public Health, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Faten Alaqil
Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80209, Jeddah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_420_18

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Aims and Objectives: Advances in the medical management of HIV infection have increased life expectancy and reduced the mortality rate of infected individuals. As a result, dental and medical health-care workers have a higher chance to meet HIV-positive patients in their clinics. People living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) are frequently experiencing discrimination. That negative attitude toward HIV remains quite common among health-care professionals. The purpose of this study was to assess students' attitudes toward PLWHA. Materials and Methods: The present study was a cross-sectional survey to assess the attitudes of senior dental students toward HIV/AIDS in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Data were collected using an online self-administered questionnaire. Data analysis was done using the statistical package of social sciences. Descriptive statistics including means, standard deviations, frequencies, and percentages were calculated and used to present the data. A binary logistic regression model was constructed to estimate the effect of different predictors on the level of HIV-related discrimination. Results: A total of 400 individuals took part in the study. Bivariate analysis of HIV discrimination in relation to other variables showed that those reluctant to treat HIV patients, the majority (82%) showed a negative tendency toward HIV/AIDS patients, while 75% who were willing to treat them exhibited more positive attitudes, which was statistically significant (P < 0.0001). The discrimination was high, almost 87%, among those who feared accidental exposure to HIV patients; however, 73% of those who did not experience fear, felt nondiscriminative, which was also statistically significant (P < 0.0001). Conclusions: Stigmatizing views toward PLWHA exist among senior dental students in Jeddah. The most significant predictors of discrimination included fear of accidental exposure, reluctance to provide treatment to these patients, and self-protective concerns.

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