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Afraid of infection from symptoms
Aug 6, 1999

I have a white coating on my tongue. I understand you said this may be the result of something else. I was wondering what other signs should I look for a possible infection. I feel I could of been exposed a year ago. I had unprotected oral sex where I recieved from a possibly risk partner.

Response from Dr. Reznik

A white coating on the tongue would not be a sign or a symptom of HIV infection. I believe it would be a mistake to point out potential oral signs of HIV infection for individuals to use as markers to determine their serostatus. There are two main reasons for this position:

1. There are not any oral manifestations seen in association with HIV infection that are only seen in HIV infection.

2. The only way to accurately determine HIV serostatus would be through a diagnostic test.

Whereas there are certain oral manifestations that can be suspect in regards to HIV infection, such as candidiasis and oral hairy leukoplakia, they are of themselves not diagnostic of HIV infection.

Take care,

DR


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