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March 1997

Lack of Detection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 in the Saliva of Infected Children and Adolescents

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(3):228-232. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170400014003

Objective:  To determine the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in the saliva of infected children and adolescents.

Methods:  Saliva and blood samples were collected from 13 patients (age range, 1-15 years) with HIV-1 infection. Eleven were taking antiretroviral agents. The presence of HIV-1 was determined by polymerase chain reaction analysis of RNA and DNA as well as by viral culture of the saliva samples and by culture of peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

Results:  Although HIV-1 was cultured from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 12 patients, it was not cultured from their saliva. Only 1 of 13 saliva samples yielded positive test results for HIV-1 RNA, and none did so for HIV-1 DNA. The specimen containing HIV-1 RNA was from an untreated 10-year-old asymptomatic boy with a CD4+ lymphocyte count of 0.91×109/L (913 cells/μL) and no infectious virus detected in plasma.

Conclusion:  The prevalence of HIV-1 in the saliva of HIV-1—infected children and adolescents is low and may not be infectious.Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151:228-232