The Auen Foundation

Grant Supports Dental Health for People Living with HIV/AIDS

Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) received a $25,000 grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion to pro­vide den­tal care to low-income seniors liv­ing with HIV/AIDS. The Auen Foun­da­tion grant was award­ed to D.A.P.’s Den­tal Clin­ic. Found­ed in 2008, the clin­ic has had an ongo­ing wait­ing list, and serves patients liv­ing at or below 400 per­cent of the fed­er­al pover­ty lev­el.

Most patients come to us after years and years with­out den­tal care and require inten­sive treat­ment plans requir­ing many vis­its to achieve sta­ble oral health,” said David Brinkman, CEO of D.A.P. “Although we recent­ly added staff to bet­ter accom­mo­date our long wait­ing list, we were still in need of sup­plies. The grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion will sup­port this, and help us com­plete com­plex den­tal plans for our local res­i­dents in need in a time­ly man­ner.”

Last fall, D.A.P.’s Den­tal Clin­ic added a sec­ond full-time den­tist. With 1.2 FTE hygien­ists and sup­port staff, the clin­ic has already served 736 indi­vid­u­als this year putting the clin­ic on track to pro­vide den­tal care to a record num­ber of patients in 2016.

D.A.P. is pro­vid­ing a crit­i­cal ser­vice that is not eas­i­ly found,” said Catharine Reed, Pro­gram Direc­tor for the Auen Foun­da­tion, which is ded­i­cat­ed to enhanc­ing the over­all qual­i­ty of life of the aging pop­u­la­tion. “Many sur­vivors of HIV are now in their senior years, on a lim­it­ed income, and many do not have den­tal insur­ance. D.A.P.’s Den­tal Clin­ic will help these sur­vivors main­tain good oral health, which is nec­es­sary for their long-term health.”

About 60 per­cent of the clients seen at D.A.P.’s Den­tal Clin­ic are at least 50-years-old, and most of them are long-time sur­vivors who have bat­tled HIV/AIDS for more than 20 years. The extend­ed life expectan­cy for HIV/AIDS has brought about a chal­lenge for those aging with the con­di­tion. Old­er peo­ple and those diag­nosed in late stages need a much high­er degree of care.

D.A.P. serves our com­mu­ni­ty with pri­ma­ry and HIV-spe­cial­ty ser­vices, includ­ing med­ical care, case man­age­ment, and social ser­vices, includ­ing food, hous­ing, and coun­sel­ing. D.A.P. also pro­vides HIV pre­ven­tion edu­ca­tion and free and con­fi­den­tial HIV test­ing at dozens of com­mu­ni­ty test sites and events through its Get Test­ed Coachel­la Val­ley cam­paign. The non­prof­it also offers The DOCK, a sex­u­al health clin­ic, whose ser­vices include STD test­ing and treat­ment; PEP & PrEP edu­ca­tion and refer­ral to treat­ment; free and con­fi­den­tial HIV test­ing; and well woman exams. With new advances in treat­ment, improved access to care through health reform and new pre­ven­tion tech­nol­o­gy, D.A.P. is com­mit­ted to bring­ing the HIV epi­dem­ic to an end. For more infor­ma­tion about any of D.A.P.’s ser­vices, call 760–323-2118, vis­it www.desertaidsproject.org.

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