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Jan 7, 2000

my brother and his wife are hiv positive and my brother has already gone blind. why is this and can it be corrected? what can they do since they are in africa and can not access medication nor treatment. i am willing to help but do not know where to start or how to go about it. please help coz i feel stressed out and do not want to see them and they kids suffer the way we did when my father died of the same thing. your advice will really help me out.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Most likely your brother has CMV retinitis, an infection of the back of the eye that can cause blindness if it isn't treated. Once blindness occurs, it cannot be reversed. If the infection is treated early, useful vision can usually be preserved, but the available medicines are all given intravenously (directly into a vein) and are as expensive as combination treatment for the HIV itself. If there is any way you can obtain HIV medicines for them, that would be the best thing. Even if you can't do that, one tablet of Bactrim (an inexpensive antibiotic), taken once a day or once every other day, will protect them from some of the common complications of AIDS.

CMV in the eye...or other infectin?
floater in right eye

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