To assess factors influencing the distribution of oral manifestations in HIV/AIDS-infected children attending the Paediatric Infectious Disease Clinic in Mulago Hospital, Kampala.
This was a cross-sectional study comprising 237 children (males/females: 113/124) aged 1 to 12 years. The parents/guardians were interviewed to obtain demographic information, oral hygiene practices, dietary habits and health seeking behaviours as well as any medications taken. The children were clinically examined for oral lesions based on World Health Organization criteria with modifications.
About 71.7% of the children cleaned their teeth. About 16.9% of the children had visited a dentist since birth, mainly for emergency care. One or more oral lesions were recorded in 73% of the children of whom 19.0% experienced discomfort during oral functions. Cervical lymphadenopathy, oral candidiasis and gingivitis were the most common soft tissue oral lesions: 60.8%, 28.3% and 19.0%, respectively. Except for dental caries, the overall frequency distribution of soft tissue oral lesions was significantly lower in children on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) as compared to their counterparts not on HAART. The prevalence of dental caries in deciduous and permanent dentitions was 42.2% and 11.0%, respectively. Tooth brushing and previous visits to the dentist were indirectly and significantly associated with dental caries. About 5.9% (n=14) of the children had <200 CD3 + CD4 T-lymphocyte cells per μl of blood.