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Ocular Problems in HIV and AIDS Patients in Nigeria

Emina, Michael Osita*; Odjimogho, Stella E.

doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e3181fef198
Original Article

Purpose. To investigate ocular disease and visual acuity defects in patients with HIV/AIDS according to CD4+T-cells counts.

Methods. The CD4+T lymphocyte counts of all the volunteers were obtained. Visual acuity, refraction, ophthalmoscope, and slitlamp examinations were performed on each patient after the CD4+T-cell count result was obtained.

Results. Young adults aged between 21 and 30 years were mostly affected, 39 (97.5%) of the HIV patients had refractive errors, and 10 (25%) had reduced vision. Seven (17.5%) moderate and one (2.5%) severe low vision patients were found between 499 to 0 and 299 to 200 CD4+T-cell counts, respectively. Ocular diseases found in various CD4+T-cells counts were proptosis (2.5%), orbital cellulitis (2.5%), and cytomegalovirus retinitis (2.5%) in 99 to 0, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (2.5%) and corneal keratitis (2.5%) in 499 to 400, molluscum contagiosum (2.5%) in 299 to 200, iridocyclitis (2.5%) in 199 to 100, cloudy media (22.5%), red eyes (30%), poor pupillary reflexes (17.5%), and painful eye (30%) in 499 to 0, retinal exudates (15%), disc edema (30%), and choroidoretinitis (15%) in 399 to 0, ocular toxoplasmosis (5%) and herpes zoster (7.5%) in 299 to 100, Kaposi sarcoma (12.5%) in 199 to 0, conjunctivitis (7.5%) in 499 to 300, and uveitis (7.5%) in 399 to 200. There were significant differences between visual acuity of the control and the HIV/AIDS patients, p < 0.05.

Conclusions. Ocular impairments increased with decrease in CD4+T-cells counts. Additional studies are required in predicting the CD4+T-cells counts that will serve as a marker for specific ocular disease manifestation in HIV/AIDS.

*OD, PhD


Department of Optometry, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.

Received February 18, 2010; accepted August 23, 2010.

© 2010 American Academy of Optometry