AIDS woman with tongue plaques. These plaques (leucoplakia) are considered premalignant. They are due to an Epstein-Barr virus infection, a member of the herpesvirus family. AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is a disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It causes weakening of the immune system, making the patient susceptible to opportunistic infections and making normally harmless infections life threatening. This disorder has developed as an AIDS-related complex (ARC), a precursor to full AIDS. In Africa, where this patient is from, lack of access to drugs and information makes AIDS a major public health concern.
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