Mucocutaneous disorders of Paediatric HIV in South-West Nigeria: Surrogates for immunologic and virologic indices


Objectives: Nigeria has the world’s highest burden of pediatric HIV. In the face of paucity of monitoring tests in Nigeria, we studied the spectrum of pediatric mucocutaneous manifestations and evaluated their clinical utility as surrogate markers for immunodeficiency and plasma viral load levels. Methods: Cross-sectional study comparing mucocutaneous manifestations in 155 HIV-positive children aged 12 weeks to 14 years with 155 HIV-negative children. Relationships between mucocutaneous man ifestations in HIV-infected patients and their immunologic and virologic indices were analyzed. Results: Mucocutaneous lesions were seen in 53.5% of HIV-infected children compared with 18.1% of the controls. Prevalence of lesions increased with worsening levels of immunodeficiency and increasing viral loads (P < .01). Oral candidiasis, angular stomatitis, and fluffy hair were associated with more severe degrees of immunodeficiency. Conclusion: Mucocutaneous disorders are common in HIV-infected children. Oral candidiasis and nutritional dermatoses can be used as surrogates for advanced or severe immunodeficiency.