Dr. Heavenly Kimes, D.D.S. '98
Heavenly Kimes, D.D.S. ’98
According to Dr. Kimes, dentistry has a whole lot to do with HIV/AIDS.
“A lot of times, patients find out they have AIDS based on the oral manifestations presented during a patient’s exam,” said Kimes. “We see these manifestations and then refer them to the proper physician to get tested.”
Oral abnormalities are estimated in being existent in 30 to 80 percent of HIV infected individuals. These abnormalities include ulcers, periodontal disease and thrush. Some of them are caused by AIDS medications, a low CD4 count, an elevated HIV RNA level, xerostomia (dry mouth) and poor dental hygiene. Dr. Kimes said those with HIV/AIDS who smoke have a greater risk of these infections. Not everyone with HIV will present oral manifestations.
Unfortunately, an AIDS Cost and Utilization Study indicated that only 9.1 percent of adults receive treatment for oral manifestations of HIV disease.
Here are a few sobering statistics shared by Dr. Kimes during her presentation:
Today, there are more than 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. including 506,000 who are black. That's half the number. Communication and talk about prevention is key. Getting tested is the main thing. If you get tested and treated, HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence anymore. People can receive treatment and live a long life with HIV/AIDS.
In 2010, HIV/AIDS was the fifth leading cause of death in black men and the seventh for black women between the ages of 25-44. It ranks higher than any other racial or ethnic group.
Although black Americans represent only 12 percent of the U.S. population, they accounted for 44 percent of new HIV infections and an estimated 44 percent of people living with HIV in 2010.
In 2011, blacks accounted for almost half (49 percent) of new AIDS diagnoses, AIDS being the most advanced form of HIV disease.
In 2010, the rate of new HIV infections per 100,000 among black adults/adolescents (68.9) was nearly eight times that of whites (8.7) and more than twice that of Latinos (27.5). The rate for black men (103.6) was the highest of any group, more than twice that of Latino men (45.5), the second highest group. Black women (38.1) had the third highest rate overall and the highest among women.
Although new HIV infections continue to occur disproportionately among black women, recent data shows a 21 percent decrease in incidence for black women between the years 2008 and 2010
In 2010, black teens and young adults, ages 13-24, represented more than half (57 percent) of new HIV infections in that age group.
HIV/AIDS testing was made available in after the lecture.
More about Dr. Kimes
Dr. Kimes received her bachelor’s degree in biology, with a minor in chemistry from Florida A&M University in 1993. With over 12 years of experience, she is regarded as a leader in the field of dentistry and is a member, in good standing, of the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Dental Association and the Georgia Dental Society.
She is married to Damon Kimes, M.D. ’98 and they are the parents of three beautiful children and four dogs.