Can I Get HIV From Visiting My Doctor Or Dentist?

    Dentist wearing a mask leaning into the camera, holding dental toolsPeople 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.

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