Memorandum by Dr Jillian Pritchard (DS
I am a consultant in GU/HIV Medicine working
at St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey, Surrey.
Provision of dental care for HIV positive patients
is a very difficult matter. A few years ago we had a community
dentist who was able to provide a good free service for these
patients. Many have poor dental health and require extensive work.
It is self evident that poor oral health has a significant deleterious
effect on their general health. Referral of this sort also had
a greatly beneficial effect of allowing patients to declare HIV
status without any fear of disclosure. Dentists, especially private
dentists, anecdotally are not great fans of HIV positive patients.
At present I have a number of patients who cannot afford private
dentistry because they do not work and others who would not attend
a private dentist for fear of the consequences of disclosing HIV
We need a good provision of NHS dentists and
especially dentists who work in the trust setting where they can
readily treat patients who for reasons of HIV or other stigmatising
condition do not currently fit into the system.
Dr Jillian Pritchard
15 October 2007