Background: HIV has various ocular manifestations and with the widespread introduction of HAART, their pattern and prevalence is expected to change. Therefore, we evaluated the HIV/AIDS patients on HAART for ocular manifestations and blindness.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 112 HIV-positive patients on HAART presenting to the HIV clinic with CD4 count ≤200 cells/µl were enrolled. The WHO clinical stage, CD4 count, duration of HIV and HAART were recorded. Ocular examination was conducted and prevalence of ocular manifestations and blindness was determined.
Results: The prevalence of ocular manifestations in HIV/AIDS patients on HAART was 8% (9 out of 112). Seven (6%) of the patients had visual impairment including one patient with blindness. The ocular manifestations included HIV retinopathy (5%), immune recovery uveitis (3%), immune recovery vitritis (3%) and CMV retinitis (2%). The prevalence of ocular manifestations and visual impairment was higher with the CD4 count between 0-100 cells/µl (p=0.002). The prevalence of ocular manifestations was also higher in patients with WHO clinical stages 3 and 4 (p=0.017).
Conclusions: HAART may be the cause for decline in the prevalence of ocular diseases and visual impairment in HIV/AIDS patients. CD4 count and WHO clinical stage may help predict their occurrence.