Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Joel S. Schuman, Juan Orellana, Alan H. Friedman, Steven A. Teich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


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 simples 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-410
Number of pages27
JournalSurvey of Ophthalmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia
  • bacterial infection
  • cotton wool spots
  • cytomegalovirus
  • fungal infection
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • neoplasms
  • vasculitis
  • viral infection


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