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Herpes on the roof of the mouth?
Feb 21, 2005

I am HIV since 1988. I was diagnosed with AIDS in 1996. My viral load is currently detectable at around 1000 copies and my tcells are about 295. Within the last six months I have had four times now, blisters on the roof of my mouth. They always appear on the upper left side of the roof of the mouth in a small cluster of blisters. The blisters last about three days and then they break leaving the roof of my mouth raw and usually with tooth and gum pain and twice severe headache on the left side of my head and mouth. I noticed three days ago the blisters and today they broke making eating extremely painful. I mentioned this to my doctor after the second time this happened and he laughed it off as cancker sores. I have had cancker sore and this is not like any canker sores I have ever had and this time it happened to coincide with a genital outbreak that left me extremely fatigued by both at the same time. I am only today beginning to feel well again as both the mouth and genital blisters have broken. Can this be herpes on the roof of my mouth? I am calling the doctor Tuesday morning as Monday is a holiday but I don't want to be brushed off again. Is there a test or something I can request the next time this happens to have this diagnosed or ruled out as herpes? Please answer as I find this very frightening.

Response from Dr. Luzuriaga

While these could be just canker sores, they could also be due to herpes, a fungal infection, etc. Their characteristics and some special tests should allow your doctor to make a diagnosis. There are specific tests for herpes, fungal infections, etc. that your doctor can do to determine the cause, which hopefully will allow more specific treatment. To test for herpes, your doctor would scrape the lesion; he would send some of the scraping for special stains and could also send it for a special herpes cultrue.


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