Background: Effective oral health care is vital for HIV/AIDS positive patients. Dental practitioners should master accurate knowledge and proper attitudes towards HIV-positive patients. This research aimed to investigate the knowledge and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS-related infections in fourth to fifth year bachelor dental students in Henan province.
Methods: A survey was conducted to analyze the knowledge and attitudes of dental students with different clinical practice towards HIV/AIDS-infected patients.
Results: The average scores of HIV/AIDS-related knowledge in the fourth- and fifth-year students was 69.80 ± 9.72 and 79.41 ± 6.30, respectively, showing a significant difference. There were no significant differences in the basic practical knowledge and awareness of HIV/AIDS transmission routes between two groups. However, there were significant differences between two groups, regarding the knowledge on oral lesions, high-risk populations, and transmission in dental settings. Furthermore, students in both groups had very negative or passive attitudes towards AIDS patients, with the fifth-year students possessing a much more positive attitude.
Conclusions: A good knowledge doesn’t mean a positive attitude towards HIV/AIDS. Clinical practice and urgent education are required to improve this condition.