HIV/AIDS has infected millions of people worldwide. It is the most devastating illness of our time with respect to loss of human life and its associated social and economic costs.

The oral cavity plays a key role in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It is often the first clinical sign of the disease and usually the most common complaint of those suffering from the illness. Approximately 40 varying oral manifestations of the disease have been reported since the start of the AIDS epidemic.

This section provides information on oral health care, existing dental programs, strategies and interventions for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA):

Introduction and Fact Sheets

Oral health and communicable diseases: HIV/AIDS (WHO Introduction.)

Oral Lesions in Infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (649,4 kB) (WHO, 2005. Discussion on the importance of oral lesions as indicators of HIV and as predictors of progression of HIV disease to AIDS.)

pdf Policy for Prevention of Oral Manifestations in HIV/AIDS: The Approach of the WHO Global Oral Health (495.29 kB)  (WHO, 2006. Overview of global AIDS epidemic including discussion of health systems and policy.  Includes information on the relationship between AIDS and oral health with recommendations for prevention and capacity building.)


Scientific and Technical Publications

Oral Healthcare for People with HIV Infection (AIDS Institute & New York State Department of Public Health, 2001. Diagnosis and management of soft-tissue lesions, clinical manifestations and management of HIV-related periodontal disease, oral and maxillofacial surgery, ethical and legal considerations, oral health management in children and adolescents with HIV.)

 El VIH/SIDA y Otras Infecciones en la Práctica de la Odontoestomatología (7.54 MB) (OPS & ONUSIDA, 2002. Aspectos generales y diagnóstico del VIH, manifestaciones orales y su tratamiento.)

Training Materials

Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Pediatric HIV Patients (NIH, 2008. Diagnosis, lab monitoring, treatment recommendations, monitoring antiretroviral therapy and drug resisting testing.)   

Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1-Infected Adults and Adolescents (Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council (OARAC), 2008. Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral agents in HIV-1-infected adults and adolescents.)

Guidance on Provider-Initiated HIV Testing and Counseling in Health Facilities (2.65 MB) (WHO & UNAIDS, 2007. Recommendations for provider-initiated testing and counseling in different types of HIV epidemics including information on social, policy and legal framework, informed consent and special consideration for various subgroups.)

pdf A Guide for Epidemiological Studies of Oral Health Manifestations of HIV (1.16 MB)  (WHO, 1993. A guide intended for oral health practitioners who are not specialists in epidemoiology and for epidemiologists who are interested in HIV-associated oral lesions.)

Additional Resources: