Oral Hairy Leukoplakia (OHL)

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A condition that appears as thick white growths, typically located on the sides of the tongue or the inner cheeks. OHL is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. OHL does not cause serious illness nor is it transmitted from one person to another. It is seen frequently in HIV infection when the CD4 count is below 500. Usually the growths clear without treatment within a month. Antiviral drugs are an effective treatment if the condition persists.