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3.1 – What are the rehabilitation interventions that address impairments common among people living with HIV?

3.1.3: Voice and speech functions

People living with HIV experience impairments relating to voice and speech function caused by infection of the viral pathogen or secondary sarcomas and bacterial or fungal infections. In some cases, voice and speech impairments are associated with neurological impairments.

Rehabilitation interventions for voice and speech functions include exercise related to articulation, fluency, resonance, language as well as adaptation of the communication environment. Potential causes of these impairments and rehabilitation interventions are shown in the table below.

Table 3.1.3: Clinical Aspects of Voice and Speech Impairments

Impairments Possible Etiologies Rehabilitation Interventions4
(for details, see Section 3.3)

Dysphagia

Kaposi’s sarcoma of mouth, pharynx, larynx

Viral, bacterial or fungal infection

Phonatory dysfunction

Kaposi’s sarcoma of mouth, pharynx, larynx

Viral, bacterial or fungal infection

Dysarthria

Viral pathogen

Neurogenic anomalies of viral infection

4Choice of rehabilitation interventions will depend on patient assessment and available resources.