Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis is one of the most serious ocular complications in patients with AIDS. It can progress to blindness and, in some cases, be followed by potentially fatal systemic disease. The reactivation of latent disease typically causes it.

There is an estimated global CMV seroprevalence of 83% in the general population. CMV infection may occur in multiple ways. Possible transmission paths are prenatal intrauterine infection, perinatal infection through breast milk or genital secretions, and postnatal exchange of bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, and sperm. 

Symptoms of Cytomegalovirus

CMV is a type of herpesvirus. It infects the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of the eye. The retina converts light that hits your eye into electrical signals so that the brain can interpret the image. One can’t have good vision without a healthy retina.

Symptoms of Cytomegalovirus are:

  • Specks, dots, or lines called floaters in the vision
  • Flashing lights
  • Blurry eyesight
  • Blind spots in the middle of the vision
  • Shadows along the sides of the view
  • Light sensitivity

Prevention for Cytomegalovirus

Prevention is better than cure. One can prevent Cytomegalovirus by keeping HIV under control. Also, one should take the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) medications every day. HAART lowers the amount of HIV in the body. That makes the immune system stronger so it can better fight off invaders like CMV.

The HIV doctor may test the blood for your CD4 count. CD4 is a type of immune cell. A low CD4 level may be a sign that the immunity is weakened.

Cytomegalovirus Treatment

According to research and studies, up to 95% of people with CMV retinitis do well with treatment. Antiviral medications include ganciclovir, cidofovir, foscarnet, and valganciclovir. 

One can take these medicines in a few ways:

  • As a pill
  • As an injection into a vein
  • As an injection into the eye
  • Through an implant in your eye that slowly releases the medicine over time


CMV can grow drug-resistant the longer one takes them. So, the healthcare professionals aim to clear up the retinitis as quickly as possible. If CMV damages the retina, they might need laser surgery to fix the weakened areas.