LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After a year of planning and just over a month of renovations, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) proudly opened the AHF Downtown Dental Office on August 12 to fill a long-standing need for oral health facilities that specialize in the dental care of people living with HIV. This is AHF’s first health center that specifically offers an array of oral health care.
The new dental clinic – which is directly next door to AHF’s Downtown Healthcare Center – offers a full range of general dental services, including exams, cleanings, x-rays, crowns, bridges, dentures, partial dentures and extractions. The facility has a close relationship with the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Schools of Dentistry for specialty services like root canals.
AHF Downtown Dental Office
1414 S. Grand Ave., Suite 485
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Los Angeles County’s Department of HIV and STD Programs (DHSP) has been scaling up the offerings of dental care opportunities to acknowledge the need for more specific providers and care for people living with HIV and AIDS. The opening of AHF’s clinic is part of a Phase Three Expansion Project connected to that scale-up, according to Dr. Mark Davis, DDS, who heads the medical team at the new AHF Downtown Dental Office.
Two years ago, there were only enough opportunities for specialized oral health care to serve 1,000 of the 12,000 – 14,000 people in Los Angeles living with HIV/AIDS, Davis said. Today, about 4,300 people can access specialized dental care thanks to new expansions, and by the end of 2013 the goal is to have the resources to provide opportunities to about 9,000 clients.
“Every other year there is a countywide HIV needs assessment, and for years oral health has always been one of the most requested and least available services,” said Davis. “We’re still not there in terms of reaching everybody, but we’re making a big dent with this expansion.”
Davis, a New York native, graduated from the Georgetown University School of Dentistry in Washington, D.C. before beginning his career practicing in South Florida. In 1997, Davis began his work specializing in HIV/AIDS-related oral health care as a dentist with AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA). He went on to serve as APLA’s dental director for several years and also served as the Dental Director of the Comprehensive AIDS Resource Education (C.A.R.E.) Program at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach. Additionally, Davis has served on the Los Angeles HIV Commission’s Standard of Care Committee and is a Commissioner occupying the Dental seat for the City of Long Beach Board of Health and Human Services. He is also a member of the Pacific AIDS Education Oral Health Steering Committee, which trains dentists to provide specialized oral health care for people living with HIV/AIDS.
The clinic is staffed by Davis and a second dentist, Dr. Cesar Zamora, as well as three dental assistants, a dental hygienist, and a front desk staffer, all of whom are bilingual in English and Spanish.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider in the USA. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to over 230,000 individuals in 28 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @AIDSHealthcare