Oral health status of children and adolescents living with HIV undergoing antiretroviral therapy: A systematic review and meta-analysis


Antiretroviral therapy (ART) increases the survival of HIV-infected children, but might also bring in oral health-related side effects and increase their risks of oral diseases. The review compared the oral health status of children living with HIV (CLWH) undergoing ART with healthy controls. Dual independent screening and study selection from four electronic databases and manual searches, data extraction, risk of bias assessment, and quality-of-evidence evaluation with Grading of Recommendations Assessment Development and Evaluation were performed. Twelve studies were included in qualitative and quantitative analysis. CLWH taking ART had a significantly higher prevalence of periodontal diseases (OR = 3.11, 95% CI 1.62–5.97), mucosal hyperpigmentation (OR = 20.35, 95% CI 3.86–107.39), and orofacial-related opportunistic infections than healthy controls. No significant differences regarding caries prevalence and tooth development were identified. Those with CD4+ T-cell counts below 250 cells/mm3 were more likely to manifest opportunistic infections, while medication duration had minimal influence on the prevalence of orofacial opportunistic infections. The current findings did not identify HIV and antiretroviral status as predisposing factors to dental caries, but affirmed the associated increased risk of periodontal diseases, mucosal hyperpigmentation and candidiasis.


Lam PPY, Zhou N, Wong HM, Yiu CKY




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • 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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