Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
The Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), also called the human T-lymphotropic virus type III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus [HTLV-III/LAV], has affected over 23,000 people; more than half of those with the disease have died. The actual case fatality rate approaches 100%. AIDS affects all groups and classes of people, although some are at special risk. Distribution of the disease is worldwide. The illness' effects on the body are widespread; of special interest are the ophthalmologic manifestations. The eye may be infected by various viruses (cytomegalovirus, varicella-zoster virus, herpes simplex virus or HIV itself), toxoplasma gondii, candida sp, cryptococcus neoformans, M. tuberculosis, or M. avium-intracellulare. Kaposi's sarcoma may affect the eye as well. Retinal vascular abnormalities (e.g., cotton-wool spots, vasculitis) are not uncommon in AIDS. The syndrome may present with neuro-ophthalmologic manifestations. No effective treatment for the illness is currently available, although several hold promise and there is hope for an AIDS vaccine. Prevention of infection through reduction of risks appears to be the only defense against AIDS at this time.
Schuman, JS; Orellana, J; Friedman, AH; Teich, SA
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