Oral lesions are the source of substantial HIV-associated morbidity in both adults and children. In addition, certain oral lesions are markers for progressive immunologic dysfunction and HIV disease progression. For these reasons, careful and continuous assessment of oral health is an integral part of comprehensive HIV disease treatment.
Available information suggests that HIV-infected children have many of the same oral manifestations observed in HIV-infected adults, but distinguishing features have been noted. Prospective pediatric studies are needed to determine the prevalence and natural history of oral lesions, to examine the relationships between immunologic and virologic markers of HIV disease status and the occurrence of oral manifestations, to evaluate changes in the oral microbial flora of HIV-infected children over time, and to assess the causative nature of oral lesions comprehensively.