Hairy leukoplakia

Hairy leukoplakia is a condition thought to be caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a member of the herpes virus family which is commonly found in the mouth. It was originally thought that hairy leukoplakia only ever occurred in people with HIV but there have since been cases in other people with suppressed immune systems such as organ transplant recipients.

It is not dangerous in itself, and can occur relatively early in the course of HIV infection as one of the first symptoms a person may have. However, it is a sign that the immune system is weakening and that the person may be at increased risk of other, more serious infections in the coming months.