The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

AIDS-Related CancersAIDS-Related Cancers
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Oral hairy leukoplakia (OHL); when does it appear?
Sep 2, 2002

Can OHL appears before HIV seroconversion while antibody test still negative or it can only appears in later stage of the disease? Thanks

Response from Dr. Dezube

Oral hairy leukoplakia (OHL) is caused by a viral infection in the mouth (Epstein Barr Virus infection). It is seen relatively frequently in HIV-positive individuals, particularly those with a low CD4 count. However, it can also be seen in HIV-negative individuals. So to answer your question, can one get OHL and be HIV-negative?-- the answer is yes, though somewhat unlikely. I have seen many patients whose OHL improved as the CD4 counts go up.

I should note for those unfamiliar with this entity, that OHL typically appears as white ridges under the tongue. Thrush can also appear as white spots on the tongue or in the oral cavity. Thrush, however, can be easily scraped off by a tongue depressor. OHL, however, can NOT be scraped off. This helps a health professional differentiate between OHL and thrush.

KS, Chemotherapy and CD4-Cells; How much of a hit will my CD4 cells take if I start chemotherapy?
KS only AIDS related?

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint