PURPOSE: To determine the extent of vision loss in a cross-sectional study of HIV-positive individuals who had no infectious retinopathy. METHODS: Visual field loss was determined by computerized achromatic automated perimetry and short-wavelength automated perimetry in both eyes in 65 HIV- positive individuals without infectious retinopathy and in one randomly selected eye each in 57 age-matched normal controls. Results were analyzed using the global index of mean defect and the Glaucoma Hemifield Test, and significance was determined through analysis of variance, chi-square, and Tukey-Kramer tests. RESULTS: We found that HIV-positive patients, compared with age-matched HIV-negative controls, demonstrated significant (at least P < .01) localized defects as well as an increased mean defect. The HIV- positive patients also had a significantly greater number of defective points, especially on short-wavelength automated perimetry, even while ophthalmoscopic examination and fundus photographs suggested that the retinas were normal. CONCLUSIONS: There is a significant loss of visual function in HIV-positive individuals that is not the result of infectious retinopathies. The finding by short-wavelength perimetry of more severe defects suggests that the vision defects are not caused by attentional or other suprachiasmatic problems because the neurologic difficulty of both achromatic and short-wavelength perimetry is similar. The effects of this vision loss on the daily living and occupational tasks of this population require further study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas