After graduating from Hoover High School in 1970, Dr. David Acer began his career (Hiaasen, 2016). This year, he attended Ohio State University’s dental school. He was a good lab rat who put in a lot of work, had few friends, and didn’t party much on campus. In the 1970s, the dental school did not offer an AIDS prevention course, but it did offer a system on herpes and syphilis. This is because it was feared that the dentist might infect patients with hepatitis. David Acer, a B student, graduated from dental school in March 1974. He spent 3years as an Air Force Dentist in Germany in the late 1970s. After his family moved to Beaver, Pa, he had an apartment where he worked in a dental group.
In the early 1980s, David opened his practice. This was based in Jensen Beach off Federal Highway in the building of Florida National Bank. There were hundreds of Martin County teachers and state employees who got referrals to Acer since he was the designated CIGNA dentist of Florida Dental Health. It is these referrals, which enabled David to establish his practice.
In his practice, David added Dr. Elizabeth whose payment for the work done was based on commission. However, Dr. Elizabeth was not allowed to see any of the CIGNA patients. Further, David was competent at his practice, but never used to check the answering machine over the weekends.
Safety and sterilization practices
Dr. Elizabeth stopped working with David because of the techniques, which he assumed on sterilization. She wanted David to autoclave all the instruments, which is something that he refused to embrace. Autoclaving is a key technique, which involves the use of superheated steam as a means of instruments sterilization. Further, David did not have a CIGNA procedure manual, which is required for dentists as one of the infection control for patients. In addition, there was no sterilization of instruments while disposable components and gloves were being reused. David also took shortcuts, which jeopardized the safety of the patients.
In 1986, David was exposed to the virus of AIDS via sexual contact. The oral surgeon, Dr. Rolf, diagnosed David with Kaposi sarcoma, which is a cancer related to AIDS. It is from this that David made a confession of having over 150 sexual partners who are different in the past decade. Further, he indicated that he did not practice safe sex for the previous two months. As such, David started receiving medical treatment at VA Medical Center and taking AZT.
His symptoms started advancing in 1988 where he began reusing gloves, as well as other disposable components. His skin was also depicting lesions, which triggered him to wear buttoned collars and long sleeves irrespective of the weather conditions. As of December 1989, the symptoms of David had become worse with blurred vision, frequent coughs, and lesions, which appeared on the skin. As of summer, David missed a lot of his work and he had to inform the family members of the illness. People who inquired on his health status were told that the doctor just had a terminal cancer.
Patient that did not die
An example of a patient who did not die is Sherry Johnson. Sherry contracted AIDS from Dr. David Acer in the Jensen Beach. After testing HIV positive, she unburdened the terrible secret after two days. In a press conference, she was angry and subdued and indicated that she felt betrayed by health care professionals who argued that it was impossible to get an infection from a dentist. She depicted her disappointed after testing HIV positive while undertaking a physical test in the pre-enlistment of the Navy.
She believes that Dr. David Acer had the intention of spreading the disease to other people, but she is happy now that he is dead. Sherry did not undergo procedures that include root canals or extractions. However, she received several fillings and local anesthesia that involved the use of needles. Nevertheless, Sherry has accepted her current life and she is happy that her friends have not forgotten her. They are always moving close to her and enjoying everything with her.
Patient that died
Dr. David Acer was the dentist of Kimberly Bergalis. The 23-year-old woman died of AIDS. She contracted the disease from the dentist, Dr. David Acer (Clary, 1991). David infected Kimberly in a normal routine procedure. After the diagnosis with the disease, Kimberly focused on lobbying Congress to support a bill, which would ensuring that it was mandatory to have health care professionals tested for AIDS. She did this while in a wheelchair. However, the bill she was advocating for was not supported. She was one of the first patients who contracted the disease without being involved in high-risk behavior. This is because she had not had any blood transfusion, she never used drugs, and she was never involved in any sexual activity.
Clary, M. (1991). AIDS victim infected by Dentist dies: Disease: It is first such death tied to
health worker. Kimberly Bergalis lobbied for bill on mandatory testing. Retrieved from: http://articles.latimes.com/1991-12-09/news/mn-121_1_infected-health-care-workers
Hiaasen, R. (2016). Dr. Acer’s deadly secret: How AIDS joined the lives of a dentist and his
patients. Retrieved from: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/lifestyles/acer-deadly-secret-how-aids-joined-the-lives-dentist-and-his-patients/AclTRWO6xPOZDwrZS3LXyH/