Oral diseases in the HIV infected children though commonly encountered are under researched and often overlooked by physicians in developing countries. The aim of this study is to document the types and frequency of oral lesions in HIV infected children and examine the effects of management with HAART on their rates.
A cross sectional study designed to identify the oral lesions in consecutive HIV infected children and their distribution at a Paediatric Anti-retroviral clinic. Information on oral disease and clinical features of the subjects were obtained by history and clinical examination and laboratory investigations by the pediatricians and dental surgeons.
The 58 children studied consisted of 34 boys and 24 girls with their ages ranging from 3 months to 13 years. Thirty seven (63.8%) of the 58 children had oral diseases. Enamel hypoplasia, candidiasis, caries, angular chelitis, and herpes labialis were the most common oral lesions found in the patients. Oral soft tissue lesions were less frequently encountered among children on HAART. Statistical significance was recorded among those infected with candidiasis. More than 60% of the children diagnosed with oral disease had no knowledge of the state of their oral health before the study.
Oral diseases are very common amongst the children studied. Awareness of oral disease among the children and their caregivers is low. Administration of HAART may have a preventive effect on the development of oral soft tissue disease. There is a need to integrate dental care into the paediatric HIV care programs.