Knowledge, attitudes and practices of oral health care workers of Lesotho regarding the management of patients with oral manifestations of HIV/AIDS
Lesotho has the third highest prevalence of HIV in the world with an estimated 23% of the adult population infected. At least 70% of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) present with oral manifestations of HIV as the first sign of the disease. While Lesotho has a population of fewer than 2 million people, it is faced with the harsh reality of a dire shortage of health care workers including oral health care workers (OHCWs). The high prevalence of HIV is of major concern to oral health workers who regularly encounter patients presenting with oral lesions associated with HIV disease. Oral health care workers need to have adequate knowledge of these conditions for effective management thereof. To determine the knowledge, attitudes and practises of oral health care workers (OHCWs) of Lesotho regarding the management of oral manifestations of HIV/AIDS. A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted on all 46 OHCWs in 26 public and private care facilities in all ten districts of Lesotho. A self–administered questionnaire was used to gather information on demographic characteristics of OHCWs and their knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding the management of oral lesions associated with HIV. A visual aid depicting seven colour images of lesions strongly associated with HIV was used to assess knowledge. Data was analysed using Microsoft Excel® and the R statistical package. The outcome of the study was then presented using tables and charts as appropriate. Frequencies, means and 2x2 contingency tables were generated and Fisher‟s exact tests were used for associations. A significance level of (p<0.05) was used.