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Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2013 Jun;20(3):170-5. doi: 10.3109/09286586.2013.789530.

Prevalence of ocular manifestations of HIV/AIDS in the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era: a different spectrum in Central South China.

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Department of Ophthalmology, The Second Xiangya Hospital affiliated to Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan Province 410011, China.



To investigate ocular manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in a population in central south China during a time of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).


A cross-sectional study in central south China was performed between June 2009 and April 2010. Ocular examinations were performed on recruited patients with HIV/AIDS. Systemic information (including CD4+ T cell count) was also collected where possible.


Among 1041 patients (2082 eyes) with HIV/AIDS enrolled in our study, we found a broad spectrum of ocular manifestations related to HIV/AIDS. The prevalence of HIV-associated ocular disease was 23.73% (247 patients). Of those with ocular complications, 87.85% had CD4 counts <200 cells/µL. HIV retinopathy (12.68%) was the most common HIV-associated ocular finding, followed by cytomegalovirus retinitis (6.72%). Prevalences of visual impairment and blindness were 7.59% and 0.77%, respectively.


This epidemiologic study shows the spectrum of ocular lesions associated with HIV/AIDS in central south China. Our findings highlight the need for routine ophthalmic examinations in this population, even in patients who are asymptomatic, especially those at high risk, in the era of HAART.

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