Impact of antiretroviral therapy on oral health among children living with HIV: A systematic review and meta-analysis


Oral health is an integral component of general health and well-being but might be undermined among children living with HIV (CLWH) due to the condition itself or the antiretroviral therapy (ART) received. This review summarises the current evidence and compares the oral health status of the CLWH who were treatment naive with those undergoing different ART medications. Fourteen studies were included in the final qualitative and quantitative analyses. This review identified no significant difference in the prevalence of caries, periodontal conditions, and tooth development between both groups. Orofacial opportunistic infections were more prevalent in the CLWH without ART. Children undergoing ART with a duration longer than 3 years had a significantly lower prevalence of oral candidiasis and CD4+ T-cell counts. However, due to the insufficient number of well-administered case-control studies with adequate sample size, the quality of the evidence in all outcomes was of very low certainty.


Lam PPY, Zhou N, Yiu CKY, Wong HM




  • Population(s)
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Engagement and Care Cascade
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment
  • Co-morbidities
    • Other


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