Prevalence and Consequences of Perceived Vision Difficulty in Aging Adults with HIV Infection

Alison G. Abraham*, Ann Ervin, Bonnie Swenor, Pradeep Ramulu, Roomasa Channa, Xiangrong Kong, Valentina Stosor, M. Reuel Friedman, Roger Detels, Michael Plankey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Despite well-known ocular complications of HIV-related immune suppression, few studies have examined the prevalence and consequences of visual impairment among aging long-term survivors of HIV. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Methods: Aging HIV-infected (HIV+) men who have sex with men (MSM) and HIV-uninfected (HIV−) MSM controls reported their difficulty performing 6 vision-dependent tasks (difficulty defined as: no, a little, moderate, and extreme difficulty). Relationships were examined using logistic regression, regressing each outcome separately on categorical visual function responses, with missing data multiply imputed. Results: There were 634 age-matched pairs for a total sample of 1,268 MSM of 1,700 MSM with available data. The median age was 60 years old (interquartile range [IQR], 54, 66), and 23% were African American. Among HIV+ men, 95% were virally suppressed (viral load <400 copies/mL). HIV+ men were more likely to report moderate or extreme difficulty performing at least 1 task (21% for HIV+ compared to 13% for HIV−; P <.01). Participants reporting extreme vision-related difficulty performing at least 1 task had 11.2 times the odds of frailty (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.2-23.9), 2.6 times the odds of a slow gait speed (95% CI, 1.4-4.8), and 3.2 times the odds of impaired instrumental activities of daily living (95% CI: 1.6-6.3) compared to those reporting no vision-related difficulty on any task. Conclusions: Perceived vision difficulty was more common among older HIV+ MSM than age-matched HIV− MSM controls and was associated with higher risk of depression and physical function loss among MSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-278
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
StatePublished - Oct 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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