Original Research

Management of the oral manifestations of HIV/AIDS by traditional healers and care givers

M.J. Rudolph, E.O. Ogunbodede, M. Mistry
Curationis | Vol 30, No 1 | a1051 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v30i1.1051 | © 2007 M.J. Rudolph, E.O. Ogunbodede, M. Mistry | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2007 | Published: 28 September 2007

About the author(s)

M.J. Rudolph, School of Oral Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
E.O. Ogunbodede, School of Oral Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
M. Mistry, School of Oral Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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Abstract

In many communities of South Africa, traditional healers are often the only means of health care delivery available. The level of knowledge and ability to recognize oral lesions of 32 traditional healers and 17 care-givers were assessed after a two-day workshop. The data collection instrument was a structured questionnaire, complimented by enlarged clinical photographs of the common oral manifestations of HIV/AIDS. Prior to the workshop, 46 (93.9%) of the 49 respondents had never had any formal information on oral health and 43 (87.8%) were unfamiliar with the symptoms of oral diseases. Thirty-five (71.4%) recognized bleeding gums from A4-size photographs and 11 (22.4%) recognized oral thrush. The recognition of other oral manifestations of HIV/AIDS were; oral hairy leukoplakia (41.0%), angular cheilitis (43.6%), herpes virus infection (56.4%), oral ulcerations (56.8%), and in children, parotid enlargement (27.3%), and moluscum contagiosum (56.8%). Traditional healers and caregivers constitute an untapped resource with enormous potential. A positive bridge should be built to link traditional healing with modem medicine in the struggle against HIV/AIDS.

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Crossref Citations

1. Traditional Medicines, HIV, and Related Infections
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