Case–Control Study of Herpes Simplex Eye Disease: Bronx Epidemiology of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Eye Studies

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To determine whether human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), diabetes mellitus, and atopic disease are associated with herpes simplex virus (HSV) eye disease and to examine the characteristics of patients with HIV infection and HSV eye disease.


Retrospective case–control study.


A hospital-based control group was matched to outpatient visits from June 1, 2010, through May 31, 2014, at Montefiore Medical Center (Bronx, NY). Inclusion criteria were a diagnosis of HSV eye disease during the study period and residency in the Bronx. Associations evaluated included age, sex, HIV/AIDS, diabetes mellitus, and atopic disease.


HSV eye disease was confirmed in 70 patients, who were compared with 280 controls. Patients with ocular HSV had a greater prevalence of HIV/AIDS compared with controls (8.6% and 2.9%, respectively). Using multivariate analysis to control for age and sex, atopic dermatitis [odds ratio (OR) 3.08, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.84–11.20] and diabetes with chronic complications (OR 2.25, 95% CI, 0.91–5.61) approached significance, whereas HIV/AIDS (OR 3.37, 95% CI, 1.09–10.40), an age less than 45 years (OR 2.89, 95% CI, 1.54–5.41), and male sex (OR 1.85, 95% CI, 1.07–3.18) were significant. In patients with HIV infection and HSV eye disease, 3 of 6 (50%) had confirmed AIDS at the time of ocular HSV diagnosis.


Patients with HIV infection have more than a 3-fold increased risk of developing ocular HSV.

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