CMV Disease Occurs More Frequently Than Thought
BY HIV Plus Editors
October 01 2003 12:00 AM ET
Despite the success of antiretroviral drugs in treating HIV infection, incidence of cytomegalovirus infection remains relatively high, with about 6% of HIV-positive adults acquiring the condition, according to a study in the August 15 edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. Patients with CD4-cell counts below 50 and viral loads above 10,000 copies are most at risk for the disease, report researchers from the U.S. AIDS Clinical Trials Group. Previous studies had suggested that CMV infection occurred in between 3.2% and 5% of patients on antiretroviral therapy. The authors suggest that doctors screen their HIV-positive patients who have low CD4-cell counts and high viral loads for the presence of CMV DNA in the blood, and that CMV prophylaxis be considered to help avoid such complications as eye infections, blindness, and gastrointestinal disease.