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South African Dental Journal

versão On-line ISSN 0375-1562
versão impressa ISSN 0011-8516


MALELE KOLISA, Y et al. Understanding the perceptions and experiences of oral conditions and oral health-related-quality-of-life among HIV-infected and undiagnosed adolescents in Johannesburg, South Africa. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2019, vol.74, n.5, pp.223-229. ISSN 0375-1562.

High occurrences of oral diseases among HIV-infected children and adolescents raise concerns about their Oral Health-Related Quality of Life (OHRQoL). The applicability of existing assessment tools for OHRQoL has not been investigated in South Africa. This study assessed an existing tool by exploring the perceptions and experiences of OHRQoL among adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) in Johannesburg. Twenty-five in-depth-interviews of both ALHIV and HIV-undiagnosed adolescents were conducted and thema-tically analysed to identify arising themes. Three broad domains and eight themes were identified: (1) individual level: oral health awareness, felt oral-symptoms, impaired oral-functioning and coping; (2) external factors: access to and negative experiences of using health services; and (3) social level: social interaction and self-stigmatisation. The adolescents' understanding of oral health concurred with global definitions. ALHIV reported HIV-related self-stigmatisation perpetuated by more oral-symptoms and oral impairments (speaking, eating and teeth-cleaning) and more self-care and coping practices. The perceptions and experiences of OHRQoL among ALHIV in Johannesburg were influenced, as elsewhere, by a combination of self-perception and social interactions, together with the state of their structural environment and biological wellbeing. High values were placed on coping, symptom endurance, resilience and dental health service experiences. These findings may be relevant in meeting adolescents' oral-health needs and improving services.

Palavras-chave : HIV; oral health; qualitative interviews; quality of life; South Africa; adolescents.

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