HIV/AIDS orofacial lesions in 156 Zimbabwean patients at referral oral and maxillofacial surgical clinics

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OBJECTIVETo document the prevalence, age and gender distribution and clinical features of HIV/AIDS orofacial lesions in patients referred to the two largest Oral and Maxillofacial specialist centers in Harare, Zimbabwe, and compare the findings with those from other parts of the world.DESIGNDescriptive study.SETTINGOral and Maxillofacial Surgical Clinics at specialist referral hospitals; Harare Central Hospital and Parirenyatwa Government Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe.SUBJECTSA total of 7800 consecutive patients referred for various orofacial conditions were examined. From this group, 156 patients with orofacial lesions of or suggestive of HIV/AIDS were further interviewed and examined by the oral and maxillofacial surgeon in charge of the clinics.METHODSHead, neck and oral examinations were carried out. Oral examination was carried out using mouth mirror and dental light in a dental chair. HIV/AIDS orofacial lesions were recorded and diagnosed using the EC Clearing House Criteria on Oral Problems related to HIV Infection (1993).RESULTSThere were 79 males and 77 females. Male:female ratio 1:1; age range 1–56 years; candidiasis (55.1%) was the most common lesion with the pseudomembranous type (55.8%) predominating. High prevalences of Kaposi's sarcoma (18.6%), salivary gland disease (12.2%) and cancrum oris (3.8%) were noted. Heterosexual contact and mother to child transmissions appear to be the mode of transmission.CONCLUSIONThe spectrum of orofacial lesions is similar to that in other countries. This study shows a high prevalence of candidiasis, Kaposi's sarcoma, salivary gland disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, cancrum oris and rampant caries.

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