Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) has been effective in reducing rapidly progressive retinopathies, there are other ocular manifestations of HIV and ocular side effects of HAART which are yet to be determined and evaluated. The aim of this study was to investigate and evaluate the effect of HAART on Visual Acuity (VA) and Intraocular Pressure (IOP) among HIV/AIDS patients in Kano State, Nigeria. This was a prospective hospital based cross-sectional study; consented patients that fulfilled the inclusion criteria were recruited and grouped into two groups A and B. Group A was those scheduled to commence HAART referred to as HAART naïve, while group B was subdivided into four groups, comprising B1, B2, B3, B4, termed as HAART experience. There were 400 participants aged 25 to 55 years with mean age of 37.86 ± 7.5 years. Their mean CD4+ T cell count was 476.94 ± 272.3 cells/mm3. The mean IOP was 14.14 ± 2.65 mmHg and analysis of variance showed that there was no correlation of HAART on IOP. About 370 (92.5%) had the best corrected distance visual acuity (BCDVA) on OU of 6/6, while 30 (7.5%) had BCDVA of less than 6/6 or worse and there was a correlation between HAART and VA (p < 0.01), but statistically insignificant on CD4+ T-cells counts, HAART regimen and its durations. There was a correlation between VA and HAART among HIV/AIDS patients, but it showed no association with CD4+ T cell counts, HAART regimen and HAART duration. There was no correlation of HAART on IOP of the patients.
Key words: Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), visual acuity, intraocular pressure (IOP), CD4+ T cell counts.
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