Ocular manifestations in paediatric HIV/AIDS patients in Mulago Hospital, Uganda

  • Erick Ikoona Department of Ophthalmology, Makerere University P.O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda
  • Israel Kalyesubula Department of Paediatrics, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda
  • Medi Kawuma Department of Ophthalmology, Makerere University P.O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda


Background: In Uganda the prevalence of HIV averages 12% as was reported to the STD/AIDS control surveillance unit. In Uganda there are approximately 30,000 HIV infected infants per year. The burden of HIV disease is high in Uganda and patients present with ocular complications. However, there is paucity of information and knowledge concerning ocular manifestations in the paediatric HIV/AIDS population and how they may differ from those of adults.

Objectives : To describe the ocular manifestations of HIV/AIDS infection in an African paediatric population. Generally the study will record the external ocular manifestations seen but specifically to document the intra-ocular lesions, in particular the retinal changes associated with paediatric HIV/AIDS.

Design: A cross-sectional hospital based study.

Setting: The study was conducted at the Paediatric Infectious Disease Clinic at Upper Mulago Hospital, in Kampala, Uganda.

Patients: Patients are those with positive HIV sero status, with or without symptoms and signs of AIDS. Parents/caretakers of the children were interviewed to obtain the socio-demographic data of the patients and a general physical as well as an ophthalmic examination were conducted to document any ocular problems.

Results: A total of 158 HIV-infected children were examined. The overall rate of ophthalmic involvement was 35%. The most common finding was a non-purulent conjuctivitis, observed in 12% of the patients, followed by perivasculitis of the peripheral retinal vessels, in 12 % of patients and molluscum contagiosum.

African Health Sciences 2003 3(2); 83-86

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1680-6905