ADAA View Course


The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV and AIDS) are catastrophic illnesses affecting millions of people worldwide. HIV damages and kills the cells of the body’s immune system by destroying the body’s ability to fight bacterial and viral infections. A person cannot get acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) without first having HIV. AIDS is the end stage of HIV infection. Without the ability to fight infection, the body is compromised and severe damage occurs, often resulting in hospitalization and death.

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of HIV and AIDS and to update dental assistants on current trends and treatments of HIV and AIDS. As dental patients will be managing and living longer through the HIV and AIDS illnesses, the dental team must understand the treatment process and disease transmission prevention.


Janet Tuthill, RDH, MA is Director of the Dental Assistant Program at Stony Brook University, School of Dental Medicine in Stony Brook, New York. Her recent publications include research on the role of allied dental health care providers in HIV and diabetes screening as well as issues related to access to care.

Wilhemina Leeuw, MS, CDA is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dental Education at Indiana University Purdue University, Fort Wayne. A DANB Certified Dental Assistant since 1985, she worked in private practice over twelve years before beginning her teaching career in the Dental Assisting Program at IPFW. She is very active in her local and Indiana state dental assisting organizations. Prof. Leeuw’s educational background includes dental assisting - both clinical and office management, and she received her Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision. She is also the Continuing Education Coordinator for the American Dental Assistants Association.


Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

• Describe HIV and AIDS.
• Differentiate active and passive types of immunity.
• Discuss how HIV affects the immune system.
• Identify ways HIV is transmitted.
• Describe oral manifestations common for the HIV+ patient.
• Discuss methods to prevent transmission of HIV.
• Describe how HIV is being treated.
• Describe infection control measures to protect patients, dental healthcare workers and the community.
• Describe confidentiality protocols to protect HIV+ positive patient information.


The ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry.  Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.

The ADAA cautions participants taking this course on the hazards of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into their practices.

Credits earned upon completion of the course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.

This course has been produced in part by a grant from the American Dental Assistants Association Foundation.


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