Can I Get HIV From Visiting My Doctor Or Dentist?

woman having dental exam
People often wonder if going to the doctor or dentist poses any HIV risks, particularly when needles or other medical tools are used as part of their treatment.

In July of 2012, a dentist in Colorado was discovered to have put thousands at risk for HIV and hepatitis infections. Dr. Stephen Stein, a Colorado dentist, was accused of reusing dirty needles and syringes, and his medical practice was closed by health officials.

Despite recent occurrences such as this, while HIV transmission is possible in health care settings, it is extremely rare. Medical experts emphasize that the careful practice of infection control procedures, including universal precautions, protects patients as well as health care providers from possible HIV infection in medical and dental offices.

In facts, further studies of more than 22,000 patients of 63 health care providers who were HIV-infected have found no further evidence of transmission from provider to patient in health care settings.

Simply put, don’t avoid going to your doctor or your dentist for fear of getting HIV. And if you have concerns, share them with your health care providers at your next visit.