People who are HIV-positive can suffer from several types of oral candidiasis infections.
A person with HIV should see a dentist to manage any of these types of candidiasis:
- Angular cheilitis. Angular cheilitis lesions can occur in people who are in the general population, but it is more common in people who are HIV-positive. This infection looks like cracks or fissures that extend from the corners of the mouth, and it sometimes occurs in conjunction with other types of candidiasis and vitamin deficiency.
- Pseudomembranous candidiasis. This infection is the type also known as oral thrush, and it appears as white patches anywhere on the inside of the mouth that may bleed. Thrush is often an early sign of HIV infection and it also may be a sign of worsening illness in people who are HIV-positive.
- Erythematous candidiasis. These lesions are flat and red. They look like burned spots and most often appear on the back of the tongue or roof of the mouth. This form of candidiasis may be an early sign of immune dysfunction, and the infection can be treated with antifungals.
In general, mild cases of any type of candidiasis infection can be treated with antifungal therapies, while severe cases may need systemic treatment. And remember that an infection may persist even after the lesions have disappeared, so be sure to complete your full course of treatment as directed by your dentist or doctor.