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Oral Dis. 2000 May;6(3):152-7.

Oral lesions and conditions associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection in 300 south Indian patients.

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Department of Oral Pathology, Ragas Dental College and Hospital, 116, Dr. Radhakrishnan salai, Mylapore, 600 004, Chennai, India.



Human immunodeficiency virus infection/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a major health problem in India. The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) of India reports a seropositivity of 25.03 per thousand for the whole country, as of October 1999. In spite of this high prevalence there are very few reports of oral lesions and conditions in Indian HIV/AIDS patients, which are important in early diagnosis and management of these patients.


The present report describes the oral lesions in 300 HIV positive symptomatic patients presenting to us at RAGAS-YRG CARE, a non-governmental organisation in Chennai, South India, over a period of 9 months in 1998.


Lesions were diagnosed on clinical appearance using international criteria.


Of the 300 patients 89% had acquired the infection through heterosexual contact. There were 205 males and 95 females, aged from 7 months to 72 years. Forty-seven percent of the patients were in the age group 21-30 years. CD4 counts were ascertained for 105 patients, 64 (62%) had CD4 counts < or = 200. A total of 217 (72%) of the 300 patients had some oral lesion when examined. Gingivitis (47%) and pseudomembranous candidiasis (33%) were the most common oral lesions. The other oral lesions seen were oral mucosal pigmentation (23%), erythematous candidiasis (14%), periodontitis (9%), angular cheilitis (8%), oral ulcers (3%), oral hairy leukoplakia (3%), hyperplastic candidiasis (1%), oral submucous fibrosis (2%) and one case of leukoplakia.


Oral lesions occur commonly in HIV infection. A comprehensive oral examination may not only suggest HIV disease but may also be useful in monitoring the disease progression. This is a cost-effective procedure, which may be useful in screening large populations in developing countries like India.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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