Azonobi I Richard and Tebepah T
Background of study: The visual status and causes of visual impairment among HIV/AIDS patients in Yenagoa is not yet determined. In order to optimize the gain of an effective HIV/AIDS control programme, this information is vital. Aim/Objectives: To determine the visual status and causes of visual impairment among HIV/AIDS patients in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, Nigeria.
Method: A prospective cross sectional study was carried out on new consecutive HIV positive patients presenting to the “heart to heart” clinic of the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri over a period of 16 months. Relevant history was obtained from the patients and their base line data such as age, sex and CD4 count was recorded. The patients underwent a full ophthalmic examination including visual acuity assessment and an anterior and a posterior segment examination.
Result: One hundred and thirty nine patients (139), was evaluated consisting of 91 males and 48 females (M/F ratio of 1:1.9). 15(10.8%) had visual impairment while 124(89.2%) had normal vision. Eighty (80 %) of patients with visual impairment was found to be blind while 20% had low vision. Eighty percent (80%) of patients with visual impairment has CD4 counts of 300 cells/μl or less. Retrobulbar optic neuritis was the commonest cause of blindness (33.4%) followed by cataract (24.9%) and maculopathy (16.7%). Cytomegalovirus retinitis, herpes zoster ophthalmicus and toxoplasmosis were each responsible for 8.3% of blindness.
Conclusion: The visual status of this population was generally good. For a few with visual impairment, it was largely due to retrobulbar optic neuritis and cataract. Improvement of the visual status of this population must pay priority attention to these diseases.PDF
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