Tooth Fairies – Gay Dentists

“There is extreme paranoia in the gay community surrounding HIV and AIDS, and it can sometimes cause the gay community to turn on itself a bit. For example, in Oklahoma or Alabama hepatitis C and HIV were given to as many as 1,000 people through their homosexual dentist. I think that this, is like, an indicator that many people have AIDS in the gay community and that a lot of gay people no longer want to go to other gay dentists. People call gay dentists ‘tooth fairies’ because they are dentists who are gay and these dentists supposedly want to give other people HIV. I don’t even go to the University health center for dental work, because I know that someone there might be able to give me HIV or AIDS. I think that people in the gay community are even more afraid of AIDS and HIV then straight people because we are affected more often, so we have more of these terror stories surrounding the disease. We also generally take these stories more seriously.”

This phenomenon of “tooth fairies” that David talks shows a lot about the gay community and their attitudes toward HIV and AIDS. Kimberly Bergalis, a self pro-claimed virgin, accused her openly gay dentist in 1991 that he gave her the disease after performing a procedure on her. The story sparked controversy, and caused uproar in both the gay and conservative communities (1). More recently, an Oklahoma dentist was accused of doing the same, and 7,000 patients must now be tested (2). The pickle, however, is that the most recent Oklahoma dentist was not homosexual, but rather just an infected individual. These scary stories that appear surrounding gay dentist are actually scary stories about HIV, and less about the gay community. Therefore, this urban legend of the “tooth fairy” is partially factual, but also partially false.