Step 1. Before starting the scheduled dental procedure, we explain the test, offer pre-test counseling, and a simple 1 page consent form is signed.
Step 2. We administer the HIV screening test. The OraQuick ADVANCE® test is very easy; the patient simply swabs the outer gums with the device and then inserts the device into a vial containing a developer solution. The test takes only 20 minutes to complete.
Step 3. We then begin regular patient care by performing a dental check up and teeth cleaning.
Step 4. At the end of the visit, the patient is given their preliminary HIV test results. The test has proven to be 99.3% accurate for people who are infected with HIV. The only disadvantage to the rapid HIV test is that it does not offer a “confirmed” HIV positive result. Individuals who receive a “preliminary positive” result with the OraQuick ADVANCE® must be referred to their primary care physician or partnering clinic to confirm the positive test results.
What’s the response been like?
Since 2009, the patient response has been surprisingly great. Most patients have stated that they prefer this method because the test was effortless. No blood has to be drawn and the agony of waiting a whole week is eliminated as well. Patients have also said that the dental setting made the test feel a little less threatening. In addition, I’ve had many patients opt to take the test for the first time in my office because it was convenient – the truth of the matter is that more patients actually see their dentist more frequently than their medical doctor. When they do visit their medical doctor, HIV testing is not routinely offered.
As the dental industry leader in private practice, my goal is to inspire more private practice dentists to take the challenge, get certified, and offer HIV testing. My mission is to have rapid HIV testing in dental offices become a national standard of care. Why? It will help encourage regular testing among Americans, so that those patients who are HIV positive will not spread the disease, will receive proper treatment, and will continue to live long, healthy lives.
For more information on the HIV virus, HIV testing with the new FDA approved Oraquick In-Home HIV Test, and more HIV resources, visit www.whatsworthknowing.com/women.
For more information about HIV testing in the dental office contact Dr. Catrise Austin at www.vipsmiles.com.