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Oral Health and HIVOral Health and HIV
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Jan 12, 2000

I have a white film running along the side of my tongue, thick in the back on one side, I believe it's Hairy Leukoplakia. It is probably a result of smokeless tobacco and cigar use during my early to mid twenty's, I am 29 now. I have not participated in the use of smokeless tobacco for several years, however, I do have a cigar now and then. What action should I take to alleviate my condition?

Response from Dr. Reznik

What you should do depends on your HIV status. If you are HIV positive, I would recommend you take the following two steps: 1. you should consult with your primary care provider as we are not seeing a great deal of oral hairy leukoplakia (OHL) in people who are well controlled with HAART. We are seeing mild presentations of OHL in people who are failing therapy. Once the regimen is changed to a more effective one, the OHL should resolve. Step 2. You should visit an oral pathologist or an oral surgeon for a thorough exam of the area in question since you are at higher risk for oral cancer due to your previous use of smokeless tobacco. Step 2 would be my advice if you are HIV negative.

Take care and have someone take a look at this soon!


Hairy Leukoplakia
OHL question-please respond

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