Prevalence of HIV-1 and oral lesions in pregnant women in rural Malawi

B. C. Muzyka, L. Kamwendo, E. Mbweza, N. B. Lopez, M. Glick, P. B. Matheson, R. Kershbaumer, T. Nyrienda, D. Malamud, N. T. Constantine, J. Thompson, Y. Nyasulu, R. Saville, P. Berthold

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective. Whether oral lesions were associated with human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV-1) status in a cohort of pregnant Malawian women was studied. Study design. Six hundred thirty-eight women participated in a randomized prospective study at 3 prenatal clinics in a rural area of southern Malawi. Oral examinations, followed by collection of oral fluid specimens with an HIV-1 oral specimen collection device, were performed. The specimens were tested for antibodies against HIV-1. Results. Sixty-one oral lesions were found in 60 participants. While traditional HIV-1 associated lesions were rare, benign migratory glossitis was unexpectedly common (6%). Oral hairy leukoplakia was significantly more common among women who were HIV-1 positive than among women who were HIV-1 negative. An HIV-1 prevalence rate of 21.8% was estimated among the women, with the highest rate of HIV-1 infection (34.1%) among women aged 25 to 29 years. Conclusion. Stratifying lesions showed a small number of oral hairy leukoplakia to be markers for HIV-1. A high seroprevalence was found in this rural cohort, but there were unexpectedly few oral lesions. The relatively few oral lesions diagnosed may indicate a recent infection with HIV.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)56-61
    Number of pages6
    JournalOral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology, oral radiology, and endodontics
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jul 2001

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • Oral Surgery
    • Otorhinolaryngology
    • General Dentistry


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