February 26, 2010

February 26, 2010

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Friday and the day after surgery. It is also the end of the work week for most of you so I hope it has been a safe and great one for you.

While most of the country, especially the northeast, is dealing with another horrendous round of snowfall; it is relatively warm and nice here in south Florida. But since I am recovering from surgery yesterday, I have spent most of the day in bed while on pain killers so I have been catching up on the Olympics coverage along with bits and pieces of talks shows as I go in and out of consciousness.

But there is something else I would like to talk about today which is oral health. The reason I am bringing this issue up is due to a friend I was recently speaking with on the issue.

During the course of their infection, more than ninety percent of persons living with HIV will have at least one oral manifestation of HIV disease. Given this prevalence, and the fact that clinically significant manifestations of oral disease may affect treatment regimens, clinical guidelines suggest that oral cavity examination should be included in initial as well as interim physical examinations of HIV patients.

In the current study, the researchers sought to describe HIV patients' discussion of oral and dental health with their HIV primary care providers and to identify the correlates of that discussion. Cross sectional baseline data from a random trial testing the efficacy of a risk reduction intervention were examined by the researchers.

The study's subjects were HIV positive men and women accessing care at five HIV primary care clinics in Miami Dade County, Fla. Of participants, 37 percent had no discussion of oral health with their provider. After controlling for age, gender, education, and clinic, the odds of discussion of oral health for respondents with five or more primary care visits in the past year were half the odds of those with fewer visits. For men reporting illicit drug use, odds of discussion were 35 percent of that for non-drug using men. Odds of discussion were 1.4 times greater for each additional health topic (e.g., nutrition, smoking) that was discussed.

"Given that more than one-third of patients reported no discussion of oral health with their HIV primary care providers in the past year, there is a need to increase the focus on oral health in the HIV primary care setting," the authors concluded.

So oral health is one more thing you have to think about when dealing with HIV and AIDS. Just a reminder to help you keep yourself healthy as possible.

I hope all of you have a great weekend and thanks again for all the wonderful, loving and caring messages and emails. Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab