Background HIV-positive children are at high risk for oral mucosal disorders. Additionally, their low immune status is associated with dental caries. However, little is known about how their dental caries and related risk factors, such as salivary flow, salivary pH level and oral health-related quality of life, differ from those of HIV-negative children. The study aimed to assess (1) dental caries and related risk factors in HIV-positive compared with HIV-negative children and (2) the association between these factors and HIV seropositive status in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Methods This was a cross-sectional study conducted as a baseline survey of a randomised controlled trial. The study setting was the National Pediatric Hospital's catchment area. The study population comprised 328 HIV-positive and 154 HIV-negative children aged 3-15 years and their caregivers. We collected clinical oral health data, questionnaire data to assess oral health-related quality of life and growth data. Results The mean number of decayed, missing or filled permanent teeth (DMFT) and deciduous teeth (dmft) among HIV-positive children was 4.0 (SD 3.6) and 7.0 (SD 4.9), respectively. Among HIV-negative children, the respective values were 3.3 (SD 3.7) and 7.1 (SD 4.6). Living with HIV was positively associated with DMFT (adjusted OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.14 to 3.01) and salivary flow (β=0.72, 95% CI 0.44 to 1.00) and negatively associated with salivary pH (β=-0.13, 95% CI-0.24 to-0.02). However, HIV-positive status was not significantly associated with dmft or oral health-related quality of life. Conclusions HIV-positive children had poorer oral health status regarding DMFT and salivary pH level. Specific strategies and further efforts are required to align their oral health status with that of HIV-negative children.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes