What are the signs and symptoms of oral hairy leukoplakia in HIV disease?

Updated: Mar 26, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of oral hairy leukoplakia, which may develop in patients infected with HIV, particularly men. Oral hairy leukoplakia is characterized by filiform white papules localized on the sides of the tongue. This condition has no malignant potential, but it may be the initial sign of progressive immunosuppression. White plaques may be confused with oral candidiasis, lichen planus, and geographic tongue.

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