By Gary M. White, MD

This condition represents an unusual infection by herpes simplex in the HIV positive patient.


Herpes simplex infection of the tongue in an HIV positive patient may manifest itself as a central longitudinal fissure with perpendicularly crossing fissures. Pain is typical.

Differential Diagnosis

For a list of tongue conditions with a fissure, see here.


Oral acyclovir 200 mg 5/day (or valaciclovir or famciclovir) should be given.


A 49-year-old man with acute myelogenous leukemia undergoing chemotherapy complained of multiple painful ulcers in tongue and palate. Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2010;53:133-4

JAAD July 2009 Volume 61, Issue 1, Pages 139–142

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