Purpose: To evaluate current practices of refractive surgeons in terms of performing elective refractive surgery in persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positivity or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Setting: Penn State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA. Methods: A link to an anonymous web-based survey was e-mailed to members of the International Society of Refractive Surgery. Surgeons were asked whether they considered persons with HIV or AIDS to be acceptable candidates for elective refractive surgery and specific precautions, if any, taken when operating on these individuals. Results: Of 1123 surgeons sent the link, 285 (25.4%) responded. Of respondents, 143 (50.2%) said they consider persons with HIV acceptable candidates for elective refractive surgery and 35 (12.5%) said they consider persons with AIDS acceptable candidates for elective refractive surgery. One hundred sixty-five (72.7%) respondents who perform elective refractive surgery in persons with HIV or AIDS said they take additional precautions when operating on these patients; precautions included performing unilateral surgery, scheduling the patient last on the surgery schedule for a given day, wearing a double layer of gloves, and evacuating the laser plume immediately after surgery. Conclusions: Approximately half of refractive surgeons said they consider HIV-positive persons acceptable candidates for elective refractive surgery; a much lower proportion considered patients with AIDS acceptable candidates. The majority of the surgeons recommended additional precautions when performing refractive surgery on patients with HIV or AIDS. Financial Disclosure: No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems