National estimates of the characteristics of individuals infected with HIV who are likely to report and receive treatment for painful bleeding gums
Painful bleeding gums may be associated with HIV infection. This study examined the characteristics of persons reporting the symptom "painful bleeding gums" and their likelihood of accessing care. The study population consisted of persons receiving care for HIV as part of the HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study (HCSUS). In this national population, 5.3% reported painful bleeding gums. Significant differences in reporting painful bleeding gums were found between Hispanics/Whites, oral health status, and presence of other symptoms. Compared to younger persons, those in the middle age group were more likely to seek treatment, while persons with the highest CD4 counts were more likely to seek treatment than those with the lowest CD4 counts. This study showed that reporting painful bleeding gums was a function of ethnicity, other symptoms, and perceived oral health, while seeking treatment for painful bleeding gums was related to age and CD4 counts. Dentists and other health care providers can have an active role in improving the quality of life of persons living with HIV by being aware of the relationships that exist between patients with HIV and painful bleeding gums.
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