People who are HIV-positive are now living longer, healthier lives, thanks to antiretroviral therapy and other treatment advances, and the number of HIV-positive people seeking LASIK, intraocular lenses following cataract removal, and similar procedures is likely to grow in coming years.
Ahmad A. Aref, M.D., Pennsylvania State Hershey Eye Center, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, and colleagues recently investigated current care practices and opinions by sending a confidential online questionnaire to members of the International Society of Refractive Surgery of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Of the 25 percent of surgeons who responded, 51 percent considered persons with HIV to be acceptable candidates for elective refractive surgery, but only 12.5 percent considered people with AIDS to be so. The majority of respondents (72.7 percent) who perform these procedures in persons with HIV or AIDS said they take additional precautions, such as addressing one eye at a time rather than bilaterally, scheduling the patient last in a given day, and increasing attention to equipment and staff hygiene.
"Refractive surgery care practices and outcomes in HIV/ AIDS patients need to be formally studied, with the goal of ensuring optimal vision improvement and overall patient health and safety," the authors conclude.
This research was presented at the 2008 Joint Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy) and European Society of Ophthalmology (SOE) in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. on November 10, 2008.
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