VIP Smiles Leads the Industry as the First New York-Based Private Dental Practice to Offer Rapid HIV Testing

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VIP Smiles, owned by Dr. Catrise Austin, D.D.S., announced today the availability of the OraQuick ADVANCE® Rapid HIV Antibody Test in their Manhattan office. VIP Smiles is the first New York-based private dental practice 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

VIP Smiles, owned by Dr. Catrise Austin, D.D.S., announced today the availability of the OraQuick ADVANCE® Rapid HIV Antibody Test in their Manhattan office. VIP Smiles is the first New York-based private dental practice 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 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, 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 ADVANCE® 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. To administer the test, the patient swabs their outer gums with the device and then inserts it directly 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 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 (http://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 ADVANCE® Rapid HIV Antibody Test, visit http://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.

Note: Dr. Austin is available for local and national interviews, as well as speaking engagements, on HIV and oral health.

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, D.D.S., the practice offers a full range of general, restorative and cosmetic dentistry services, including Invisalign®, Snap-On Smile®, porcelain veneers and teeth whitening. Visit VIP Smiles on the web at http://www.vipsmiles.com.

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