Rooting out anti-HIV dentists with a phone call
One in three French dentists refuse to treat HIV-positive patients. This attitude of fear and hesitation among dental professionals in France has been revealed by the association Aides, which phoned 440 dental clinics. The fake patients asked for an appointment and then said they had HIV. When their condition was revealed, there was awkward silence and many were refused treatment. The excuses ranged from a lack of adequate instruments to lack of experience in treating such cases. And there’s more. The dental secretaries, assistants and even dentists themselves often advised the patient to contact a hospital, even just for a simple dental hygiene appointment. The conversations were all recorded and have been put together in a video. However, they also constitute legal proof of discriminatory behaviour, which, according to France’s public health laws, is punishable by civil and criminal penalties.