March #21 : Dental Damns - by Walter Armstrong and Ronnilyn Pustil

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Table of Contents

Larry Kramer Gets Angry

Radiant Radical

Adventures in Brain Chemistry

Cackles, Cauldrons, and Carrots

Johnny Appleseed

The Way To a Man's Heart

Tools of the Trade

Life Imitates Art

S.O.S.-March 1997

Mailbox-March 1997

Notes of a Native Son

Out in the Cold

Cocktail Hour

Gallo's Humor

Vanity Unfair

Uh-Oh, Canada

Dental Damns

School for Scandal

"Provide" Services

Goes Around, Comes Around

Whatever Happened to Mary Jane

The Buddy Line

Rebel YELL

Bull's Eye

Body at Work

Alive and Kicking

ACTing UP All Over

All in Good Time

Tabling the Situation

POZ Picks-March 1997

ACT UP's First Days

5,985 and Counting

A Specific Point of View

Dead Gorgeous

Sex and the Single Positoid

Misplaced Lust

The Anger Channel

Dose of Reality

Feeling Blue? Much to Do!

Kicking Butt

Expand Your Medicine Cabinet

Wean on Me

Feeling Queasy? Help is Easy

The Right Stuff

A Load Off His Mind

Carbo Diem

Monkey Business

Taking Action

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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March 1997

Dental Damns

by Walter Armstrong and Ronnilyn Pustil

Tooth tech with HIV gets army boot

After testing HIV positive last summer, a U.S. Army dental hygienist in Hanau, Germany was bounced from a clinic job and returned to the United States. Army officials made HIV counseling and testing available to some 1,100 soldiers and family members treated by the technician, who for 16 months provided "noninvasive" dental care such as teeth cleaning and X-rays. Because the soldier was "absolutely meticulous in dental hygiene," there was "virtually no risk" of HIV transmission, according to Army spokesperson Barbara Slifer.

Through a campaign in local media and registered mail, Army officials announced that patients at the Hanau clinic had been seen by a hygienist with HIV. Of 220 patients identified, 136 have had HIV tests. All have tested negative. Slifer said the soldier's name, age and sex were not disclosed, and that the soldier had already left Gemrany-Army policy allows none of its estimated 1,300 HIV positive personnel to serve overseas. Slifer adds she did not know whether the soldier would be permitted to work as a hygienist or continue to serve in the Army.

But American Dental Association spokesperson Chris Martin said these measures are both unnecessary and unjust. "Having HIV is no reason for a medical professional to discontinue his or her practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines for health care workers offer sufficient protection against HIV transmission."

According to the CDC, which has investigated more than 15,000 patients of 32 HIV positive dentists and doctors, the only possible instance of transmission was the oft-disputed 1990 case of Florida dentist David Acer, who allegedly infected Kimberly Bergalis and four other patients.

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