The ocular consequences of HIV-AIDS

1 October 2008
Volume 09, Issue 4

Emma Langley and Michael Cox review the pathogenesis of AIDS and its ocular consequences with regard to modern treatment regimes.


HIV/AIDS is the world’s fastest-growing sexually transmitted disease. Transmission of HIV via drug use is also a leading cause of infection in many areas of the world. Latest figures show that this pandemic has directly affected almost 33.2 million individuals. It is of great importance to heighten public awareness of the disease and optometrists can assist by becoming more aware of the sight-threatening implications that the condition holds. 

This review discusses the possible pathogenesis for HIV and how this relates to the ocular effects that are seen. The four main ocular disease processes that occur in HIV/AIDS (infections, vasculopathies, neoplasms and neurological effects) are described. With the advent of HAART drug therapy over the last 10 years, the ocular consequences that the individual may exhibit have also changed, in both positive and negative ways.

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