Background: The teaching of infection control (IC) was introduced at dental schools in Mexico during the 1990s. A 1992 survey indicated that some dentists had limited access to current IC standards. Deficient knowledge of bloodborne pathogens may influence dentists’ attitudes about infected individuals and reduce compliance with IC recommendations. Objective: To update the 1992 appraisal of attitudes about persons infected with HIV or the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and IC knowledge and practices in a nonrepresentative sample of dentists in Mexico City. Method: One hundred eighty dentists were interviewed in 1999 (response rate, 84.1%) with the same methods used in 1992. Results: Seventy-nine percent of respondents perceived the risk of HIV infection as "considerable" to "very strong." The risk of HBV infection was considered higher than that of HIV. Only 32% of respondents had not been immunized against HBV. Reported use of personal protective equipment remained high. Dry heat was the preferred method for sterilization in 1992, but by 1999 it had been displaced by steam under pressure. Reported preference for more effective disinfectants was also evident overall. Conclusions: We found certain improvements in IC knowledge and practices between 1992 and 1999, and the results suggest targets for educational and regulatory efforts that are needed to promote better adherence to current IC standards.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases