OBJECTIVES: Using a nationally representative survey, we determined dentists’ willingness to provide oral rapid HIV screening in the oral health care setting.
METHODS: From November 2010 through November 2011, a nationally representative survey of general dentists (sampling frame obtained from American Dental Association Survey Center) examined barriers and facilitators to offering oral HIV rapid testing (n = 1802; 70.7% response). Multiple logistic regression analysis examined dentists’ willingness to conduct this screening and perceived compatibility with their professional role.
RESULTS: Agreement with the importance of annual testing for high-risk persons and familiarity with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations regarding routine HIV testing were positively associated with willingness to conduct such screening. Respondents’ agreement with patients’ acceptance of HIV testing and colleagues’ improved perception of them were also positively associated with willingness.
CONCLUSIONS: Oral HIV rapid testing is potentially well suited to the dental setting. Although our analysis identified many predictors of dentists’ willingness to offer screening, there are many barriers, including dentists’ perceptions of patients’ acceptance, that must be addressed before such screening is likely to be widely implemented.