(inflammation of the esophagus or candida in the mouth)
  • Candida esophagitis is an inflammation of the esophagus caused by the yeast Candida Albicans
  • A Candida inflammation usually occurs in people with a weakened immune system
  • With an HIV infection, a reduced immune system can occur
  • Candida esophagitis may indicate an early manifestation of AIDS




Candida esophagitis is an inflammation of the esophagus. This is caused by a yeast called Candida Albicans. This is a common yeast strain and can be found on everyone's skin. Not everyone, however, gets sick from Camdida Albicans.


Complaints that can occur with an inflammation of the esophagus are:
Difficulty in swallowing, the feeling that food is not 'sinking' properly or a pain in the area of the sternum. This pain can sometimes radiate to your back or between the shoulder blades.
Often, white spots in the mouth are visibile. This is called thrush. Thrush is also caused by the yeast Candida. Rarely, there may be bleeding into the esophagus as a result of the inflammation.


Everyone has the yeast Candida on their skin, but not everyone gets sick from it. People with a well-functioning immune system keep this yeast under control and rarely get sick from it. In people with a weakened immune system, the yeast can easily multiply and thus cause inflammation.

Risk group

Candida esophagitis only occurs in people with a weakened immune system. Causes of a weakened immune system are diabetes, immunosuppressant drugs (such as prednisone or chemotherapy) and an HIV infection. Candida esophagitis caused by an HIV infection mainly occurs in a later stage of the disease.

HIV and Candida Esophagitis

An HIV infection weakens your immune system. This allows the yeast candida to multiply and cause inflammation, such as inflammation of the esophagus.
If you experience white spots, or: Thrush, in your mouth or throat due to a candida inflammation without an inflamed oesophagus or other clear cause, this can also be an HIV indicator condition.
HIV indicator conditions are conditions or symptoms that occur more often in people with an underlying HIV infection than in people without an HIV infection. Candida Oesophagitis is one of the HIV indicator conditions. If you have or have had Candida Oesophagitis and have not been tested for HIV, it is advisable to ask your doctor or general practitioner for an HIV test. Find it difficult to ask for an HIV test? You may download a call card that will help you formulate your question.