It is well documented and generally accepted that enlargement of parotid salivary glands, as part of HIV-related salivary gland diseases (HIV-SGD), may be the initial symptoms/manifestations of the HIV infection. Oral
mucoceles and ranulas are also frequently described as oral manifestations, in association with HIV infection.
However, little is known about these latter lesions as being the initial symptoms indicative of an HIV infection.
This prospective study has investigated the possibility that oral mucoceles in general, and ranulas in particular,
could be the initial symptoms of an underlying and undiagnosed HIV infection. A total of 50 patients including
cases of oral mucoceles and ranulas were consulted in a tertiary referral hospital set up. Nineteen (63%) out of 30
HIV-positive patients presenting with oral mucoceles/ranulas, did not know their HIV status at the first consultation.
Oral mucoceles/ranulas were for these patients, the only motives for visiting the health facility, and
they were also the only clinical identifiable features (symptoms). Oral mucoceles and ranulas should, in the
context of HIV-salivary gland diseases, be considered as initial symptoms and early manifestations of HIV
infection. Routine HIV testing in all patients with oral mucoceles and ranulas is, according to this study, justified
and should be recommended.