OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of oral mucosal diseases and dental caries among HIV-infected children receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) in West Africa and to identify the factors associated with the prevalence of oral mucosal lesions.
METHODS: Multicentre cross-sectional survey in five paediatric HIV clinics in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Sénégal. A standardised examination was performed by trained dentists on a random sample of HIV-infected children aged 5-15 years receiving ART. The prevalence of oral and dental lesions and mean number of decayed, missing/extracted and filled teeth (DMFdefT) in temporary and permanent dentition were estimated with their 95% confidence interval (95% CI). We used logistic regression to explore the association between children’s characteristics and the prevalence of oral mucosal lesions, expressed as prevalence odds ratio (POR).
RESULTS: The median age of the 420 children (47% females) enrolled was 10.4 years [interquartile range (IQR) = 8.3-12.6]. The median duration on ART was 4.6 years (IQR = 2.6-6.2); 84 (20.0%) had CD4 count<350 cells/mm(3). A total of 35 children (8.3%; 95% CI: 6.1-11.1) exhibited 42 oral mucosal lesions (24 were candidiasis); 86.0% (95% CI = 82.6-89.3) of children had DMFdefT ≥ 1. The presence of oral mucosal lesions was independently associated with CD4 count < 350 cells/mm(3) (POR = 2.96, 95% CI = 1.06-4.36) and poor oral hygiene (POR = 2.69, 95% CI = 1.07-6.76).
CONCLUSIONS: Oral mucosal lesions still occur in HIV-infected African children despite ART, but rarely. However, dental caries were common and severe in this population, reflecting the need to include oral health in the comprehensive care of HIV.