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Fogarty Dental Fellow Lilliam Pinzon studies Mexican children with HIV

When dentist Dr. Lilliam Pinzón looked into the mouth of a 5-year-old child, she saw 15 of his teeth had cavities. As with all her patients in Tijuana, Mexico, the boy had HIV and was enrolled in her study testing which of two dental filling compounds was more appropriate for underserved children.

“The patients, especially because they’re HIV-positive, have not been treated at an early age, so they have a lot of decay,” Pinzón recalls. “Even if they have money, when they’re HIV-positive, health professionals don’t want to see them.”

Pinzón was in Mexico for her fellowship with Fogarty’s Global Health Program for Fellows and Scholars, which provides a yearlong mentored clinical research experience abroad for postdoctoral fellows and pre-doctoral scholars. NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) supported Pinzón fellowship. (read more)