Skip to main content

An estimated 1.1 million people in the USA are living with HIV/AIDS.  Nearly 200,000 of these individuals do not know that they are infected.  In 2006, the CDC recommended that all healthcare providers routinely offer HIV screening to adolescent and adult patients.  Nurse-dentist collaborations present unique opportunities to provide rapid oral HIV screening to patients in dental clinic settings and reach the many adults who lack primary medical providers.  However, little is known about the feasibility and acceptability of this type of innovative practice. Thus, elicitation research was undertaken with dental providers, students, and patients. This paper reports the results of qualitative interviews with 19 adults attending a university-based dental clinic in New York City. Overall, patients held very positive attitudes and beliefs toward HIV screening in dental sites and identified important factors that should be incorporated into the design of nurse-dentist collaborative HIV screening programs.

The World Health Organization (WHO) “World Oral Health Report 2003” emphasized that despite great improvements in the oral health status of populations across the world, problems persist. As knowledge is a major vehicle for improving the health of the poor in particular, the WHO Oral Health Programme focuses on stimulating oral health esearch in the developed and developing world to reduce risk factors and the burden of oral disease, and to improve oral health ystems and the effectiveness of community oral health programmes.