The Most Common Mouth Infection In HIV/AIDS Patients

An oral yeast infection, or thrush, is caused by a type of fungus, or yeast, known as Candida albicans. Normally, Candida exists in the mouth in small numbers along with various kinds of good bacteria, with each type of organism keeping the other in check. An upset in this harmonious balance clears the way for the yeast to grow, ultimately resulting in thrush.
Thrush Symptoms and Risk Factors
Symptoms of an oral yeast infection include:
White patches in the mouth or on the tongue that may bleed when rubbed
Redness or soreness inside the mouth
Cracking at the corner of the mouth (known as angular cheilitis)
The risk of contracting thrush may be increased by:
Having cancer, HIV or AIDS, or any other condition that weakens the immune system
Being on chemotherapy
Using antibiotics, corticosteroids, or immunosuppressive drugs
Using inhaled corticosteroids for asthma
Being very old or very young
Having diabetes
Wearing dentures
Having oral sexual contact with someone who has a yeast infection
A once-daily medication option for treating the most common mouth infection in HIV/AIDS patients has shown to be just as effective and safe as taking an anti-fungal pill five times a day, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study. 
Researchers found that a small tablet applied daily that sticks to the gum and dissolves inside the mouth with few or no side effects is a novel, convenient option for treating an infection called oral candidiasis (OC), which occurs in about one third to one half of HIV patients and up to 90 percent of AIDS patients. 
The study is believed to be the largest to date involving HIV/AIDS patients with OC. The infection is also common in patients suffering from many forms of cancer, especially those with head and neck cancer, in which the infection rate is as high 77 percent. 
The study is being presented Monday at the 49th annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in San Francisco. 
"This is an exciting new, convenient way for treating this infection," says Jose A. Vazquez, M.D., the study's lead author and a Henry Ford Infectious Disease physician. 
"It's a tablet that you just stick on the gum and it releases an anti-fungal agent over the course of six to eight hours. Because the anti-fungal agent stays in the mouth, it provides the same relief as the oral medication but with few or no side effects." 
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