Our HIV training program includes both a didactic and a clinical component. The didactic component is taught as part of the Oral Medicine section of a Patient-Centered-Care lecture series during the third year of the dental curriculum. The Oral Medicine section consists of a lecture series taught through recorded modules that students are required to watch before in-class sessions. Thus all in-class sessions can be spent on clinical case presentations with extensive student participation. The epidemiology of HIV and associated oral opportunistic infections (OI) and malignancies, modes of transmission of HIV, diagnosis and management of HIV-related oral manifestations (including candidiasis; hairy leukoplakia; HPV-associated lesions among other OI, and AIDS-related malignancies such as Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) are covered as part of this curriculum. Other blood-transmitted diseases like HBV and HCV are also covered in this series.
The clinical component is covered as part of a clinical rotation, when third year dental students (D3) and fourth year International dental students (IDP4) get to attend one full week each in the oral medicine clinic. Most patients are referred to the Oral Medicine Clinical Center because of a specific oral soft tissue condition or disease. This provides a pool of patients with a variety of oral conditions (e.g., muco-cutaneous inflammatory diseases; oral manifestations of systemic conditions such as HIV disease; squamous cell carcinoma) and offers a unique learning experience. Students spend one week in the Oral Medicine Clinic with different clinical faculty each day. This provides each student the opportunity to collect patient history, conduct oral soft tissue examination, establish a differential diagnosis, and possibly assist on oral mucosal biopsies.
In addition to D3 and IDP4 students, post-graduate residents in a variety of programs (GPR; Periodontology; Pediatric Dentistry) also rotate through the Oral Medicine clinic where they learn about how to diagnose and treat oral manifestations associated with HIV. We also have a Post-Graduate residency program in Oral Medicine as part of which our residents, in addition to their training in the Oral Medicine clinic, get to do rotations in the Medical Center including a 3-month rotation at the San Francisco General Hospital that has a dedicated HIV primary care clinic. Finally, our D3 and ID4 students have the opportunity to take an elective clinical rotation in Oral Medicine as part of which they spend half day per week in the Oral Medicine clinic for a quarter.
Our dental school has a nearly 40-year history of conduction oral HIV/AIDS research, both bench and clinical research. Thus, in addition to our didactic and clinical training pertaining to HIV, our proposal describes opportunities for students and residents to get involved with HIV-related research.