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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration

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Oral Health: People with HIV/AIDS

Regular oral health care is essential for healthespecially for people with HIV. Inadequate oral health care can undermine HIV treatment regimens and diminish quality of life. People who are  HIV-positive need comprehensive and individualized oral health care, yet large numbers of people with HIV have unmet needs for oral health care. 

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Oral Health Grant Programs

Oral health care to persons living with HIV/AIDS is partially funded by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. Federal funds are awarded to agencies and dental education institutions located around the country, which in turn deliver oral health care to eligible individuals. Funds from all grant programs authorized by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act of 2006 can be used to support oral health services. 

In addition, three programs, specifically focus on oral health care for people with HIV.

Dental Reimbursement Program funds institutions with accredited dental or dental hygiene education programs to help them defray the unreimbursed costs of providing oral health care to people with HIV. Learn More

Community-Based Dental Partnership Program funds dental schools and other providers to establish clinical rotations for students and residents in community-based settings -- improving access to care for people with HIV and providing hands-on learning opportunities to  dental providers. Learn More

Innovations in Oral Health Care Initiative (Special Projects of National Significance) funds organizations using innovative models to underserved people who are HIV-positive underserved populations in both urban and non-urban settings. Learn More

Did You Know?
  • People with HIV/AIDS are at special risk for oral health problems.
  • Dry mouth, a common side effect of HIV/AIDS, increases the risk of tooth decay and may make chewing, swallowing and talking difficult.
  • More than a third of people living with HIV have oral conditions related to their weakened immune systems.
  • Most oral health problems associated with HIV respond well to treatment -- many can be resolved with self-care.