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Volume 116: debated on Wednesday 13 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what allowances are being authorised for dentists to equip themselves suitably to deal with AIDS and potential AIDS sufferers; and if he will make a statement.

Simple procedures such as the use of fresh disposable needles, proper sterilisation of all non-disposable instruments and the wearing of gloves by the dentist and all staff assisting at the chairside, should he routinely employed for all patients seeking dental treatment. Guidance to this effect was issued to all dentists in April of last year by the chief dental officer. The costs of these procedures, like all other practice expenses, are reimbursed indirectly through the fees paid to dentists for the treatment they provide.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the Official Report the percentage of households which have received the Government's AIDS leaflet to date.

[pursuant to his reply, 7 May 1987, c. 504]: Research carried out for the Department has shown that 93 per cent. of households received the AIDS leaflet by direct delivery. This figure is recognised as a very high level of performance and was only achieved through the excellent co-operation of the Post Office and its staff.The greatest delivery problems for the Post Office related to dwellings over shops and to conversions where occupier contact was difficult to establish.To ensure the widest access to the leaflet, additional copies were made available through main post offices, citizens advice bureaux and other organisations.