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Eye Floaters - HIV?
Aug 16, 2001

Dr. Pavia,

Is there any connection between eye floaters and acute/recent hiv infection? Recently I began to see floaters in both eyes. I went to an Ophthalmologist and he said my eyes were completely healthy. He told me floaters are very common and not to worry about it. However it is scary because he didn't tell me what caused them and they have become very bothersome. I had a possible exposure 8 months ago, but just tested negative via ELISA. I have read about floaters in HIV+ people due to CMV complications, especially when CD4 counts are below 100, but haven't seen much information on if there is a connection between recent HIV infection and eye floaters. What are your thoughts?

Response from Dr. Pavia

Your eye doctor is correct. Floaters are very common among normal people and the cause does not seem to be well understood (at least by this infectious disease doctor).

In people with CD4 cells below 100, floaters are a cause for greater concern and should prompt a trip to an eye doctor to look for signs of CMV. Even in this setting, floaters are often innocent. 8 months after an exposure would not represent acute HIV in any event.

Relax, stay safe, and stop being fixated on past events. Just focus on what led you to put yourself at risk so it doesn't happen again.

ATP



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