HIV and periodontal disease: Redemption or resurrection

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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, a major medical crisis that has hit families, communities & nations across the world, remains a major health concern of unprecedented dimension. Mounting evidence suggests that co-infections and inflammation may result in re-activation of latent virus and blunt the success of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART). Periodontal diseases are chronic multibacterial infections that can result in significant bacterial & inflammatory load in the body and HIV infection has been found to be associated with various forms of periodontal diseases. Besides Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome (IRIS), following HAART, may also lead to increased frequency of periodontal disease among these patients. If co-infections & inflammation can increase the risk of HIV reactivation, can periodontitis in an HIV infected individual lead to HIV re-activation. This question remains unanswered, but initial evidence suggests a probable role of periodontitis in HIV re-activation. The clinical implication of such a role is that, periodontitis being most often preventable and definitely treatable, every attempt should be made to prevent and promptly treat this disease in individuals with HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of AIDS and Clinical Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 01-09-2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Dermatology
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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