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CHANGES TO YOUR FACE AND BODY(LIPODYSTROPHY, WASTING AND WEIGHT GAIN)

Updated: Dec 28, 2021


Although less common than it used to be, lipodystrophy, or abnormal fat distribution,

remains a concern for many people living with HIV. Lipodystrophy is an umbrella term

that refers to two conditions: CHANGES TO YOUR FACE AND BODY

(LIPODYSTROPHY, WASTING AND WEIGHT GAIN)


In the early years of the AIDS epidemic, wasting syndrome, or unintended loss of both

fat and muscle, was a prominent physical manifestation of HIV. After the first antiretroviral medications were developed, some people who used them developed facial

lipoatrophy, characterized by sunken cheeks and deep smile lines.


Today, this condition is seldom seen among people who start treatment with modern

antiretrovirals, but it can be a telltale sign that someone is a long-term survivor.

More recently, there’s been a growing recognition that weight gain is common

among people starting treatment with potent modern antiretrovirals. This phenomenon is

still poorly understood, but this is an active area of HIV research.

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