• Vol. 33 No. 4 (Suppl), 37S–42S
  • 31 July 2004

Oral Lesions and Conditions Associated with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in 1000 South Indian Patients



Introduction: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is a major health problem in India. The importance of oral lesions as clinical features of HIV infection and their gender specificity have been reported worldwide. However, there are very few reports on this aspect from the Indian subcontinent.

Materials and Methods: The study population comprised 1000 consecutive HIV seropositive patients presenting to YRG CARE, a non-governmental organisation in Chennai, South India. The oral lesions were diagnosed based on clinical appearance using international criteria. Data were entered into a database and analysed using the SPSS package.

Results: The male-to-female ratio was 3.4:1, and 95% of the patients had acquired infection via heterosexual contact. Majority of the patients (84%) were in the 21- to 40-year-old age groups. Pulmonary tuberculosis (12%) was the most common systemic finding. Oral lesions were seen in 86.6% of the patients. Gingivitis (72.3%) and periodontitis (33.2%) were the most common lesions followed by oral pigmentation (26.3%), oral candidiasis (23.8%), angular cheilitis (7.9%), oral ulcers (3.3%), oral hairy leukoplakia (2.1%), oral submucous fibrosis (0.9%) and leukoplakia (1.5%). The prevalence of oral candidiasis, periodontitis and oral hairy leukoplakia was higher in males than in females.

Conclusions: Oral lesions occur commonly in HIV infection. A comprehensive oral examination plays an important role not only in the management of the patients, but also in assessing the immune status and in their follow-up.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is a major global health problem. It is estimated that the number of people living with HIV infection in India, by the end of 2002, is 4 to 5 million.

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