VIP Smiles Promotes HIV Awareness

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    Dr. Catrise Austin, D.D.S., owner of VIP Smiles announced  the availability of the OraQuick ADVANCER Rapid HIV  Antibody Test in their Manhattan office. VIP Smiles is the first private dental practice in the nation to become certified and trained to offer the test, which can be administered as a screening test during regular dental exams. The test delivers results within 20 minutes.

    “The oral cavity is one of several places where HIV infection is found, so dentists have a unique opportunity to incorporate rapid HIV testing in their daily practice,” said Dr. Austin. “We’re proud to be the first local private dental practice to offer the OraQuick ADVANCER 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 to make HIV more accessible and convenient.

    The OraQuick ADVANCER Rapid HIV Antibody Test, now used in a growing number of dental schools and clinics throughout the United States, is the only rapid HIV test to be approved by the FDA for use with oral
    fluid. 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 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 of all ages, so that those patients who are positive can receive proper treatment and continue to live long, healthy lives.”

    On Saturday, October 17, Dr. Austin will speak on the Technical Assistance Panel at the 2009 Conference on Oral Pathology & Rapid HIV Testing at the New York University College of Dentistry. The conference is devoted to the advancement of the art and science of dentistry in service to the public.

    Additionally, October will mark 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), an HIV and AIDS organization committed to promoting the education, prevention and the end of stigma of HIV and AIDS among young adults.

    For more information on VIP Smiles and the OraQuick ADVANCER Rapid HIV Antibody Test, visit www.vipsmiles.com or call (212) 262-6054. Testing is available to new and existing dental patients, as well as individuals interested in HIV testing only.