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Dermatology Online Journal

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Oral lesions as an important marker for HIV progression


Background: Oral hairy leukoplakia (OHL) is a benign lesion caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) replication in the oral epithelium affecting the borders of the tongue. It is strongly associated with immunosuppression, especially in HIV+ adults but is uncommon in pediatric population. The aim of the study is to show the importance of the correct diagnosis of OHL and its influence on HIV treatment.

We report two cases of HIV+ adolescent patients that presented with leukoplakic lesions on the border of the tongue, suggestive of OHL. OHL diagnosis was confirmed in only one case through EBV in situ hybridization. After confirmation of the diagnosis, the patient with OHL was referred to an infectious disease specialist with the decision to start antiretroviral therapy. Conclusion: OHL definitive diagnosis can help clinical management of pediatric HIV+ patients.

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