Before the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy HAART, the cytomegalovirus was a major problem for AIDS patients, causing opportunistic infections that spread out of control and led to faster progression of the disease and shorter time to death.
Researchers assessed CMV status in about 375 people infected with HIV using a standard test. Investigators followed the patients for three years, noting new cases of CMV disease, development of new AIDS-related disorders, and deaths.Results showed patients who were CMV positive had significantly shorter times to progression of the disease and a fourfold shorter time to death when compared to those who were CMV negative.
Thus researchers say even in the era of HAART, the presence of cytomegalovirus in the blood is independently associated with an increased risk of progression to cytomegalovirus disease. Researchers also say that emphasizes must be given for the testing of HIV patients for CMV since drugs are currently available to treat the condition.