August 5, 2002
Paul Scott, executive director at Chattanooga CARES, a support group for people with HIV/AIDS, said 40 HIV-infected clients were on a waiting list to see a dentist when Green began working at the clinic. He said some of those patients had waited up to three years to receive dental treatment. Most funding for the dental services at the health department comes from the Ryan White Dental Program. The program will pay for a dental clinic in Chattanooga CARES' new north Chattanooga facility, scheduled to open in November.
Scott said that, though no dentists have agreed to work at the new Chattanooga CARES dental clinic, he thinks that will change. Green said he will give a presentation in October to the local dental society about treating people infected with HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. He said he hopes it will change any misconceptions about those diseases. Dr. David Reznik, president of HIVdent, a nonprofit coalition of health care professionals promoting access to dental treatment for the HIV/AIDS population, said it is unlawful to refuse treatment to a patient solely based on HIV status.