Issue brief |

Cytomegalovirus Retinitis: A Technical Overview of the Neglected Disease of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic

Cytomegalovirus retinitis (CMVR) is a neglected opportunistic disease, largely undiagnosed and untreated, that claims the sight of thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries each year.

The absence of systemic screening for the disease among vulnerable populations, coupled with a difficult treatment that involves direct injections into the eye or hospitalisation for intravenous treatment, has excluded many patients from treatment. While there is an oral medicine that could radically improve treatment for both patient and caregiver, patent barriers are currently pricing this treatment out of reach for patients in developing countries, leading to the unnecessary and catastrophic loss of sight in many patients.