Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2018 Jan-Feb;32(2 Suppl. 1):51-59.

Prevalence of HIV-related oral manifestations and their association with HAART and CD4+ T cell count: a review.

Author information

Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milan-Bicocca, Milan, Italy.
Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
Department of Medical Sciences, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.
Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy.
Contributed equally


HIV infection is one of the major health problem of the last decades. This disease causes a chronic infection that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). According to the Global AIDS update, released in 2016 by HIV department of World Health Organization (WHO) and by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), at the end of 2015, 36.7 million people were infected by HIV: 34.9 million of these were adults and 1.8 million were children under 15 years of age. The same report shows that during 2015, 2.1 million of new infection cases have occurred all over the world and about 1.1 million people have died for HIV. The aim of this short review is to up-date of the main HIV-related oral manifestations and their correlation with HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy) and CD4+ T-cell count. Despite that more than 20 years have elapsed, this classification still remains valid: even today, group 1 lesions are found in the majority of HIV-positive patients with oral manifestations. Group 1 includes the following conditions: oral candidiasis (pseudomembranous candidiasis, erythematous candidiasis, angle cheilitis), oral hairy leukoplakia, periodontal diseases (necrotizing gingivitis, necrotizing periodontitis, linear gingival erythema), Kaposi’s sarcoma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Melanotic hyperpigmentation, HSV infection and HPV infection, which are included in group 2, are also common. Oral candidiasis, oral hairy leukoplakia, Kaposi’s sarcoma and HSV infection are the lesions that have seen the major drop in their incidence after the HAART introduction. The increase in CD4+ T-cell count is not significantly correlated to the decrease of every type of oral lesions, but it is statistically significant only in relation to oral candidiasis (p-value less than 0.001). Oral lesions are an important sign of immunodepression and with the introduction of HAART their incidence has strongly decreased, particularly in urban areas. Nevertheless, developing countries still have a high prevalence of these manifestations because of the persistence of many risk factors, like the difficulty to access treatment, poor oral hygiene, low socioeconomic status and late diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center