OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on salivary gland function in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive women from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
DESIGN: Longitudinal cohort study.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A total of 668 HIV positive women from the WIHS cohort with an initial and at least one follow-up oral sub-study visit contributed 5358 visits. Salivary gland function was assessed based on a dry mouth questionnaire, whole unstimulated and stimulated salivary flow rates, salivary gland enlargement or tenderness and lack of saliva on palpation of the major salivary glands.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes in unstimulated and stimulated flow rates at any given visit from that of the immediate prior visit (continuous variables). The development of self-reported dry mouth (present/absent), enlargement or tenderness of salivary glands (present/absent), and absence of secretion on palpation of the salivary glands were binary outcomes (yes/no).
RESULTS: Protease Inhibitor (PI) based HAART was a significant risk factor for developing decreased unstimulated (P = 0.01) and stimulated (P = 0.0004) salivary flow rates as well as salivary gland enlargement (P = 0.006) as compared with non-PI based HAART.
CONCLUSIONS: PI-based HAART therapy is a significant risk factor for developing reduced salivary flow rates and salivary gland enlargement in HIV positive patients.