Stage : Acute Hiv Infection
Within 2 to 4 weeks after infection with HIV, about two-thirds of people will have a flu-like illness. This is the bodys natural response to HIV infection.
Flu-like symptoms can include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. But some people do not have any symptoms at all during this early stage of HIV.
Dont assume you have HIV just because you have any of these symptomsthey can be similar to those caused by other illnesses. But if you think you may have been exposed to HIV, get an HIV test.
Heres what to do:
Treatment For Hiv Mouth Sores
There are a number of ways that doctors may treat mouth sores caused by HIV or an HIV-related condition. For example, fungal and bacterial infections that cause mouth sores can often be treated with prescription pills. Mild sores, such as most canker sores, may be treated with a prescription mouthwash containing corticosteroids.
Persistent mouth sores, such as warts, may require minor surgical procedures such as cryotherapy for removal. With serious infections and diseases, more aggressive treatments may be used to attack the condition rather than just treat the symptoms. For example, treatments for oral cancer may include chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.
Who Is At Risk For Hiv Infection
Anyone can get HIV, but certain groups have a higher risk of getting it:
- People who have another sexually transmitted disease . Having an STD can increase your risk of getting or spreading HIV.
- People who inject drugs with shared needles.
- Gay and bisexual men.
- Black/African Americans and Hispanic/Latino Americans. They make up a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses and people with HIV, compared to other races and ethnicities.
- People who engage in risky sexual behaviors, such as not using condoms.
Factors such as stigma, discrimination, income, education, and geographic region can also affect people’s risk for HIV.
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How Does Hiv Affect The Skin
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , around 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV.
HIV does not directly affect the skin. However, HIV damages or destroys the immune systems CD4 cells, which reduces the bodys ability to fight infection. This increases the risk of certain health problems, including skin conditions.
Dermatological conditions are common among people with HIV. Some sources have suggested that 69% of participants with HIV have a skin disorder.
Certain infections in people with HIV are often called . These are infections that typically result in mild symptoms but can cause severe symptoms for a person with a weakened immune system.
Some opportunistic infections that affect the skin include:
- herpes simplex virus, a viral skin infection
- candidiasis or yeast infection, a fungal skin infection
- Kaposis sarcoma, a type of cancer that rarely occurs in people who do not have HIV
Some HIV medications can cause skin lesions or rashes as a side effect. Some antiretroviral drugs are more likely to cause skin rashes than others. This includes nevirapine, efavirenz, and abacavir.
The severity of skin lesions can vary. In some cases, only a small area of a persons skin is affected. In other instances, dozens or more skin lesions can develop.
Its important to understand that people who do not have HIV can also develop a variety of skin lesions. Having certain skin lesions does not necessarily mean that a person has HIV.
Stage : Asymptomatic Stage
This stage occurs after the symptoms from the acute primary infection stage have cleared up. The body produces HIV antibodies and all symptoms can disappear for up to 10 to 15 years. The virus is still active in the body during this time, however, so its possible to transmit HIV even when no symptoms are present. Getting HIV treatment during the asymptomatic stage can minimize damage to the immune system.
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What Is A Mouth Sore
Mouth sores, also known as ulcers, defines as localized abnormalities inside the mouth that can emerge from various causes. Mouth sores can occur on any of the soft tissues of your mouth, including your tongue, gums, lips, cheeks, and floor and roof of your mouth. You can even grow mouth sores on your throat, the tube leading to your stomach. They may appear as ulcers or white or red patches in the mouth. Bleeding may sometimes happen if ulceration is extreme. Bite injuries to the tongue or within of the cheek are a typical reason for mouth sores.
Oral health problems like mouth sores are a well-known symptom in people with human immunodeficiency virus . They usually happen because the virus weakens your immune system, so your body has tough time-fighting infections that cause them. As indicated by the World Health Organization , around 4050 percent of individuals living with HIV have oral conditions that can cause complexities in the mouth, including sores.
Although HIV sores in the mouth are not life-threatening, they can have a profound impact on a persons quality of life. These sores in the mouth can be painful and make eating, swallowing, and taking medications more difficult. But whatever the reason, theres likely an effective treatment.
Getting Dental Care In The Us
You cannot legally be refused dental treatment because of your HIV status but finding dental care can be difficult depending on your financial resources, insurance coverage, and where you live. Ask your health care provider or HIV specialist for suggestions on where to find dental care in your area. Options for people with fixed incomes and/or no insurance are limited, but they do exist:
- Federal Ryan White CARE Act-funded dental clinics: These clinics may be able to provide low- or no-cost dental care however, there may be a waiting list. These dentists are generally experts in the dental care of persons living with HIV. Find a provider in your area
- Dental schools: Some cities have dental schools or dental hygiene schools that provide good quality care at reduced rates. Check for a program near you
- Public health or community-based primary care clinics: Clinics provide treatment at either a reduced rate or free of charge. Call your local Department of Health to find a clinic or check the US Department of Health and Human Services service locator
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Aphthous Ulcers Or Canker Sores
Canker sores are common mouth lesions that can cause pain, especially because they dont go away on their own. Theyre usually red, but can also be covered with a gray or yellow film. Canker sores are also known as aphthous ulcers.
They tend to develop inside the cheeks, inside the lips, and around the tongue. These locations may make the sores feel more painful because they move when a person speaks or eats.
Canker sores arent a symptom of HIV, but having HIV can increase the risk for recurring and severe sores. Other factors that can cause canker sores include stress, acidic foods, and mineral deficiencies that include:
Eating hot or spicy foods can also lead to increased pain from canker sores.
Treatment: In mild cases, over-the-counter creams and mouthwashes can reduce inflammation and sores. Canker sores can also be treated with salt water.
If someone has a severe case of canker sores, they may be prescribed corticosteroids in pill form. For cases of prolonged sores that interfere with meals, try topical anesthetic sprays. These can help numb the area.
Benefits Of Topical Agents Vs Oral Meds
Topical agents limit your exposure to harsh treatments because they don’t affect your whole body. Localized treatment lowers the risk of side effects and drug interactions. If thrush hasn’t spread to the esophagus, treatment courses can be completed in just one to two weeks.
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What Do Ohl Lesions Look Like
OHL lesions may vary in severity and appearancewith some being smooth, flat, and small, while others are irregular, “hairy,” or “feathery” with prominent folds or projections.
In addition to the tongue, the sores can also be found on the buccal mucosa, and/or the gingiva. Like oral candidiasis, OHL lesions cannot be scraped away.
Diagnosis takes place via a testing kit looking for:
- Protein of the Epstein-Barr virus within the epithelial cells
OHL may not require any specific treatment other than antiretroviral therapy , though some options include:
- Antiviral medications
Epidemiology Of Oral Lesions Of Hiv
Several studies done worldwide showed varying reports of oral lesions from 40% to 93% . The prevalence of oral lesions seen in a German study showed 39% , in South Africa, 73% was reported by Kaminu and Naidoo . Nigerian reports also showed a prevalence of 36.4% – 84% in various studies done in the different geopolitical zones. .
All studies carried out showed presence of oral lesions as a manifestation of HIV/AIDS infection.
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Oral Lesions And Response To Haart
The goals of HAART should be maximal and durable viral suppression. The aim is preservation and restoration of the immune system at minimal cost to the patient. This should improve the quality of life through ease of use of their regimen with minimal side-effects to enhance optimum adherence. This should translate into a reduction of HIV- related morbidity including oral manifestations. Reduction of viral burden will prevent progressive immunodeficiency, decrease the risk of the emergence of resistant viruses and possibly decrease the risk of viral transmission .
It has been shown in various studies that the prevalence of HIV-related oral lesions reduces significantly with HAART. The reported percentage decrease varied from 10% in a USA study on 570 patients to 50% in a Mexican study on selected 1000 HIV patients over a period of 12 years .
In a Spanish study on 154 subjects, Ceballos-Salobrena et al showed a 30% reduction of oral lesions, while Tappuni and Fleming reported a reduction of 24% in a study on 284 patients in the United Kingdom. Some looked at a particular oral manifestation as opposed to a range of oral lesions .
Studies examining the effect of HAART on the prevalence of individual oral manifestations mainly reported on oral candidiasis, oral hairy leukoplakia, HIV-related periodontal diseases, Kaposis sarcoma , oral papilloma, and HIV-related salivary gland disease showed reduction in the prevalence .
Types Of Hiv Sores In Mouth
Oral herpes can cause awful red sores on the lips, tongue, gums, and within of the cheeks. These sores are generally known as fever blisters or cold sores, and they result from contamination with the herpes simplex virus .
Additional manifestations of oral herpes may include:
- swollen or difficult lymph nodes
- a burning or tingling sensation close to the lesions
Anybody can get oral herpes, but HIV rises the danger for opportunistic infections like HSV. Individuals with untreated HIV may encounter more drawn out and extreme outbreaks of mouth blisters.
Doctors may recommend oral antiviral medications, for example, valacyclovir or acyclovir for herpes treatment.
Human papillomavirus infections are pervasive among individuals living with HIV. There is a study that stated that 48 percent of females living with HIV had an HPV infection compared with 28 percent of females without HIV.
HPV can cause small white bumps, or warts, nearby the mouth and lips. These white bumps are usually not awful, but rather they may bleed if an individual pick at them. These infections can also cause genital warts, which are extremely transmittable. An individual can get HPV during oral sex if the disease enters the blood circulation through a tear or cut in the mouth.
The individuals who have HPV do not experience any side effects. If that side effects do happen, they can contain:
The following can help people to decrease the risk of oral HPV include:
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How Can You Tell If You Have Hiv
The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. You cant rely on symptoms to tell whether you have HIV.
Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information so you can take steps to keep yourself and your partner healthy:
- If you test positive, you can take medicine to treat HIV. People with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load can live long and healthy lives and will not transmit HIV to their HIV-negative partners through sex. An undetectable viral load is a level of HIV in the blood so low that it cant be detected in a standard lab test.
- If you test negative, you have more HIV prevention tools available today than ever before, like pre-exposure prophylaxis , medicine people at risk for HIV take to prevent getting HIV from sex or injection drug use, and post-exposure prophylaxis , HIV medicine taken within 72 hours after a possible exposure to prevent the virus from taking hold.
- If you are pregnant, you should be tested for HIV so that you can begin treatment if you’re HIV-positive. If you have HIV and take HIV medicine as prescribed throughout your pregnancy and childbirth and give HIV medicine to your baby for 4 to 6 weeks after giving birth, your risk of transmitting HIV to your baby can be less than 1%. HIV medicine will protect your own health as well.
Use the HIV Services Locator to find an HIV testing site near you.
Stage : Clinical Latency
In this stage, the virus still multiplies, but at very low levels. People in this stage may not feel sick or have any symptoms. This stage is also called chronic HIV infection.
Without HIV treatment, people can stay in this stage for 10 or 15 years, but some move through this stage faster.
If you take HIV medicine exactly as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load, you can live and long and healthy life and will not transmit HIV to your HIV-negative partners through sex.
But if your viral load is detectable, you can transmit HIV during this stage, even when you have no symptoms. Its important to see your health care provider regularly to get your viral load checked.
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Human Papilloma Virus Warts
HPV can cause warts anywhere around the mouth or lips. Warts can look like small cauliflowerlike bumps or masses with folds or projections. They can sprout inside and around the mouth.
Most of the time warts are white, but they can also be pink or gray. Theyre generally not painful, but they can be bothersome. Depending on their location, HPV mouth warts can be picked at and bleed.
HPV is also strongly associated with oropharyngeal cancer, or throat cancer.
Treatment: A healthcare provider will need to perform surgery to remove warts. A prescription cream may be used for warts on the lips, but theres no oral medication to treat warts.
Contagious? Possibly, if broken and theres fluid.
Hiv Tongue: Identify Symptoms At Every Hiv Stage
HIV tongue signs occur mainly during its oral manifestation stage. The signs on the tongue indicates compromised immunity.
These signs appears usually during the secondary stage of infection, when the patients with HIV are susceptible to many types of infections . This usually happens when there is a drop in the CD4+T count.
There are many of conditions appearing on the tongue indicating that who might have HIV virus in your body.
Its a white lesion that shows up on the lateral border of the tongue it does not wipe away. As the characteristics distribution is on the sides of the tongue and with the linear striations.
If the patient has these kinds of oral lesions suggesting oral hairy leukoplakia this does indicate some level of Immunosuppression, particularly category B classification, indicating moderate immune suppressions. This is one of the common symptoms which occurs during the initial stage of HIV.
One condition for Oral Hairy Leukoplakia is you are not going to see this lesion in a person who has an undetectable viral load. So if you were working in an urgent care setting and you saw somebody present with shortness of breath and you had a chest x-ray with diffuse infiltrates you look in their mouth and saw this putting two and two together you could conclude theres a significant likelihood this person has HIV infection.
Besides HIV, these lesions condition can also be seen in rare cases of transplantation or other severe immunocompromised patients.
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Oral Health And Tobacco
Tobacco use is a primary cause of several oral diseases and conditions. People who use tobacco, whether they smoke it , use smokeless tobacco products or use e-cigarettes , are more likely to develop oral cancer, throat cancer, and gum problems . In fact, in the US, smoking is the single biggest risk factor for non-AIDS defining cancers among people living with HIV. In people living with HIV, smoking affects their risk of developing cancer more than if they have a low CD4 count, a non-suppressed viral load, hepatitis C, or an AIDS diagnosis.
Tobacco use commonly causes tooth decay, discoloration of your teeth , and bad breath. Using tobacco also weakens the immune system’s response to infections in your mouth. As a result, you will be more likely to get infections in your mouth and these infections will heal more slowly. Since the immune system of people living with HIV is already weakened, it is important not to further weaken it by using tobacco products. If you use tobacco, talk to your health care provider about how to stop smoking or chewing. For more information and help with stopping smoking, see our article on Smoking and Tobacco Use.
Herpes Simplex Or Cold Sores
Fighting off infections and viruses is more difficult for a person with HIV. One of the most common viruses that people have is herpes simplex, or oral herpes. Oral herpes usually appears as red sores in the mouth.
When they appear outside the lips, they may look like blisters. Nicknamed fever blisters, these red, raised bumps can be painful. Theyre also known as cold sores.
Anyone can get oral herpes, but in someone with HIV or a weakened immune system, oral herpes may be more severe and last longer.
Treatment: Oral herpes is treatable with medication. A healthcare provider will likely prescribe acyclovir, an antiviral treatment. This medication helps reduce new outbreaks.
Continue to take any prescription medications until a healthcare provider indicates otherwise.
Contagious? Yes. People with herpes may want to avoid sharing foods.
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