With the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for HIV, AIDS is now manageable and patients are living lives relatively free of many of the oral conditions that characterized the disease prior to and during previous treatment regimens. Although the incidence of oral diseases has improved, many patients with HIV and emerging AIDS may still develop one or more oral conditions that dental professionals need to be aware of when examining the patient with AIDS. Effective office infection control procedures to prevent spread of the disease are as important today as they were 30 years ago when AIDS was first confronted. This educational course is divided into two parts. The first part reviews current science related to the immune events associated with the oral route of transmission of the virus, new information on the pathogenesis of the disease, concepts related to the oral cavity as a viral reservoir for HIV and oral pathology that is associated with AIDS. The second part deals with the practical clinical considerations that need to be addressed when treating the AIDS patient.
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