Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Historic SF Forum on HIV+ Folks & Dental Health

Every person with AIDS who qualifies for dental services funded by the Ryan White CARE Act in San Francisco, that I have spoken with recently and over the years is not satisfied with delivery of care via the University of the Pacific dental school.

We are assigned to sophomore students whose training and educating is of paramount importance and the actual oral health care delivery a secondary matter at the UOP.

The stress of dealing with UOP, not beneficial wellness of HIV pozzies with compromised immune systems, begins with just getting assigned to a dental student and then there's the matter of getting an appointment.

Any appointment with the student is between 3 and 4 hours because they need to practice what they've learned in class, then find one of their teachers to evaluate their assessment of your oral needs. In short, you need to block out half day, for the travel time and actual appointment, for each appointment and no procedure is quick.

Recently, I've filed complaints against UOP with the consumer advocate of the local CARE Council and pleaded with the council to reassess its contracts with and funding to the university.

There is need for an advance general dentistry clinic for ageing longterm HIV survivors, one that delivers actual services in less time and stress. The HIV negative UOP administrators don't understand the many other medical appointments and other demands on our time we survivors have and how the university's governance of the HIV services is a barrier to quick and expert care.

Thanks to my complaints to the school's administration, which has no general patient nor HIV-specific advisory councils, and CARE Council, the university is hosting a one-hour morning forum starting at 10 AM on Thursday, June 2 at their campus located at 155 5th Street near Mission.

This is an historic development in that UOP has failed to ever hold such a meeting. While nothing is said in their outreach flier about come talk to them about better delivery of HIV dental care that puts pozzies' need first and students' teaching second, I will bring up this and other ideas to protect the oral wellness of myself and other AIDS survivors.

For all the talk we hear in San Francisco in the past few years about honoring and caring for HIV poz men and women over 50 years of age, when it comes to dental care our needs have not been a priority. This needs to change.

Here's a message from another longtermer who will be at the June 2 meeting, echoing the same problems many pozzies deal with at UOP:

"I have many issues with UOP as well. I have to beg to get in for a temp fix on a partial and can't get my student dentist to make appts for a permanent solution. Started in Nov, two temp repairs, promises of an additional student to take my case but no calls, no appts. And three hours is a given for every appt. Just a simple teeth cleaning can take three appts over 6-8 weeks due to their schedules. Small problems become big problems while you wait for a treatment plan and the appts to address them. Thanks for taking this on. I've been frustrated for years, with only brief successes with UOP."

1 comment:

kenneth bunch said...

I went to the Forum. I stressed to the Director of the CARE program that we need an Advanced General Dentistry Clinic AGAIN ( we use to have one in SF). He said the dental school has one in Union City. I stressed the problems with having dentistry in the general student population. He said he is considering reopening the AGD clinic in SF again, not just for HIV patients, but patients with other disease (cancer, etc.) have problems with long appointments, and long treatment plans.
When I agreed to be transferred from the general student population to the now closed AGD clinic 10+ years ago they made me sign a paper that if the AGD clinic closed then I would no longer be allowed treatment at the school. When it did close the school tried to kick me out. And I and others like you Michael raised hell and they allowed us to be reassigned to the general student dentist population.