“One of the first signs and symptoms of HIV appears in the mouth, so dentists have a unique opportunity to play a significant role in detecting HIV and championing rapid HIV testing,” said Dr. Austin. “We’re proud to be the first private practice to offer the OraQuick ADVANCE® test, and we’ve partnered with the New York State Department of Health to generate awareness and promote its benefits.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.1 million people in the United States are infected with HIV and 232,700 don’t know it. To combat the spread of HIV, and generate awareness of the importance of being tested and knowing one’s status, medical professionals have begun implementing innovative new ways like the dental clinics, dental schools, and now private dental offices to make HIV more accessible and convenient.
The OraQuick ADVANCE® Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test, now used in a growing number of dental practices throughout the United States, is the only rapid HIV test to be approved by the FDA for use with oral fluid. To administer the test, the dentist swabs the outer gums with the device and then inserts it into a vial containing a developer solution. The procedure is fast and painless, and delivers accurate results within 20 minutes. In the clinical studies by the manufacturer, the test correctly identified 99.3 percent of people who were infected with HIV-1 and 99.9 percent of people who were not infected with HIV-1.
“Detection is the first line of defense against the spread of HIV,” said Dr. Austin. “It’s my hope that rapid testing in dental practices will help to encourage more regular testing among American men and women, so that those patients who are positive can receive proper treatment and continue to live long, healthy lives. On December 23rd 2009, I detected my first preliminary positive HIV screening results in my dental practice by using the OraQuick ADVANCE® Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test. I realized at that moment how real this epidemic is and how necessary HIV testing is to stop the spread of the HIV virus.”
Dr. Austin now speaks professionally to medical professionals, dentists, and organizations across the country on the importance of HIV testing and how to recognize oral signs and symptoms of HIV. Additionally, October 2009 marked the release of Dr. Austin’s new book, “5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile,” published by Morgan James Publishing. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Hope’s Voice International (www.hopesvoice.org)
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About VIP Smiles
VIP Smiles is a progressive New York-based dental practice located in the heart of Manhattan. Under the leadership of expert cosmetic dentist Dr. Catrise Austin, the practice offers a full range of preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry services, including Invisalign®, Snap-On Smile®, porcelain veneers and teeth whitening. For more information on VIP Smiles and the OraQuick ADVANCE® Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test, visit www.vipsmiles.com or contact VIP Smiles at 212-262-6054. Dr. Austin is available for local and national interviews, as well as speaking engagements, on HIV, oral health, and cosmetic dentistry.