HIV is one of the most wide-spread and dangerous diseases seen all around, and people who are unaware of it, never try to get it checked when it’s in the initial stages and mild symptoms appear. The same negligence is shown by the medical practitioners who don’t usually check the patients for HIV infection, being concerned about time management, and more consent and patient time is needed.
All around the world, about 36 million people are suffering from HIV infection, and every 9 1/2 minutes an American is newly infected from it. This all happens because both the people and the practitioners don’t understand the importance of early diagnosis of the disease. Once infected, it’s hard to cure but the patient can be educated on how the life can be prolonged a bit under diseased conditions, and what all is needed to be done to prevent the spread of HIV infections into healthy people. It’s not necessary that only a medical practitioner should counsel the patient, a dentist too can.
HIV Testing by Dentists
The disease has its effects in the oral cavity too, and various lesions are seen in the diseased condition of the patient. This can help in diagnosis, which can be carried out by the dentist himself, without referring to any medical practitioner. Moreover, the higher advantage is that there is no need of any blood sample for the GIV test to be carried out.
The dentist can check for the disease and produce the reports at the same visit of the patient.
Rapid HIV Tests
Rapid tests can use either a blood sample or oral fluids. They are easy to use and do not require laboratory facilities or highly trained staff.
The rapid oral fluid process is a fast and easy process, where the patient has to swab the testing device around the gums and then the device is placed for 20 minutes in a solution for detection of the infection. The results are obtained within 20 minutes, and this test is 99% accurate, and has no involvement of extra time, blood aspiration, pain. The same device is not used in other mouth, and so the infection spread is prevented too.
All positive results from a rapid test must be followed up with a confirmatory test, the results of which can take from a few days to a few weeks.
When to Get Tested for HIV
Usually getting tested at least once if you have not been tested earlier, or after a few behaviors as below
– Injecting drugs with syringes which may not be sterilized
– Having sex with HIV-infected person, or without protective measures, or with multiple partners.
– When performing sex with partners who would have had sex with multiple partners, most risky of HIV infection.
Care to be Taken by Dentist and Patient in Clinic
HIV being a slow and progressive disease, people and the dental assistants usually don’t care much about it in the beginning and sometimes get infected with improper usage of instruments which might carry the blood of the infected person.
Wear gloves while touching the syringes and instruments which have been used to treat or inject the patient’s skin. If a patient is positively tested for HIV, proper instructions should be given on how to keep it away from being spread to other people.
The dentist and the assistant should sterilize the instruments after treating every patient, and regularly test themselves using the HIV test.