176 Where There Is No Dentist 2012
After a while the dental worker came out and asked Mary to come into the
room. David was sitting on a chair looking worried. He tried to give Mary a
smile, but she could see his heart was not in it. The dental worker asked
David if she could tell Mary what she had found in David’s mouth. David
agreed, so the dental worker explained to Mary that David did not have any
problems with his teeth. He had infections in his mouth, gums, and throat.
This was why his mouth was sore and smelled bad all the time.
The dental worker said she would give David the dental care he needed.
But she also said she thought David’s problem might be caused by a much
more serious infection called HIV. That would explain why his body is weak
and he is unable to fight off the infection in his mouth. But to be sure, David
should get a blood test for HIV. And because HIV can be passed from one
person to another she encouraged Mary to get tested too. She explained
that the sooner you find out if you have HIV, the sooner you can start taking
medicines that help you and your baby live long and healthy lives.
I can treat the
problem in David’s
mouth, but I think he
has a serious infection.
It would be good for you
both to get tested so
that if you have HIV you
can protect youselves
and your baby.
The right information will help dental workers give good dental care to everyone.
This story shows why it is important for dental workers to know about
infections in the mouth that may be caused or made worse by HIV. With
correct and up-to-date information, dental workers can give the good dental
care everyone deserves, and can help prevent HIV from spreading to other
people or to themselves.
Health and dental workers must give people with HIV
the care they need. Make sure your health system provides the
resources (equipment, medicines) you need to give good care.