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Opportunistic Diseases: Diseases For Cytomegalovirus - CMV

What is it?


O Citomegalovírus or CMV is a virus. It is a herpes virus, a virus family which includes herpes zoster virus (responsible for chicken pox and shingles) and herpes simplex (responsible for cold sores).


Approximately half of all people in industrialized nations, which includes the United States are infected with the virus. Almost all gay and bisexual men are infected with CMV and more than 75% of all people infected with HIV carry the virus. However, with antiretroviral therapy (ART, in English) powerful, only a small percentage of these people - especially in patients with severely compromised immune systems - will actually develop CMV, suffer from the symptoms of this infection.

Being infected with CMV is no reason to panic. CMV is only a threat when the immune system becomes impaired. If your CD4 cell count drops below 50, you are at a much greater risk of developing CMV diseases, particularly CMV retinitis. ARV treatment can help protect and repair the immune system. In addition, preventive therapy (prophylaxis) is available for HIV-positive patients who are at risk of developing CMV disease.

What is CMV disease?


In people with HIV, CMV can cause disease in one or several parts of the body. They include:

Types of CMV disease

¨ CMV Retinitis: CMV can cause damage to the back of the eyes or the retina. This can lead to blurred vision, blind spots or moving spots, and blindness. This is the most common type of CMV disease in people with HIV. Although generally life-threatening, blindness and blindness are permanent even after successful treatment. See more here
¨ CMV Encephalitis: CMV can also cause brain damage. If the CMV reach the brain and the immune system is unable to control it, death can run within weeks or meses. CMV damage in the brain, when less severe, can cause dementia, confusion, fever, or memory problems. The symptoms are very similar to those of HIV-associated dementia.

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