Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology, Rural Dental College – Loni, Maharashtra, India.
From the onset of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic over 20 years ago (since the appearance of the first cases of contamination by the HIV virus in the 1980s), more than 60 million people have become infected and more than 20 million people have died. An estimated 15,000 new infections occur each day, with more than 95% of these in developing countries. The distinctive characteristic in the pathogenesis of HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is that the primary target cell for HIV is immune cells bearing the CD4 marker at their surface, and the CD4 cell count and viral load have been used lately as the most important laboratory parameters to evaluate the evolution of the disease. Oral lesions are common (30-80%) in patients infected by the HIV virus and may indicate an impairment in the patient’s general health status and, consequently, a poor prognosis. Oral manifestations can suggest decreased cluster-differentiated (CD4+) T cell count and increased viral load, which might also aid in diagnosis, progression, and prognosis of the disease. At the tertiary level of oral care, a dentist should be available to make definitive diagnoses of oral lesions and provide professional oral services such as prophylaxis, restorations, biopsies, and the prescription of appropriate medication.
Keywords: CD4, dental, HIV, oral