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weight gain from diet versus HIV

Jan 2, 2009

I'm 60, been on Lexiva, Norvir and Truvada for almost 8 months with good results. I have also experience belly weight gain which I am embarassed to admit is probably due to reduced gym time and overeating. I'm curious if there is means of telling the difference between "normal" age related sedentary weight gain and HIV or HAART related fat distribution either from physical exam or lab tests.

Response from Dr. Pierone

There really is no reliable means to tell between normal age-related body shape changes versus those associated with HIV or HAART. There is an overlap between the changes associated with aging and HIV medication-related side effects. However, it would be very unusual for a middle aged man to develop a buffalo hump in association with a minor weight gain, so there are clues.

Since there is no blood test or specific examination finding, one has to use common sense to address these issues. In your situation, if the weight gain does not respond to exercise and diet, this would suggest that the boosted PI component of your regimen is driving the belly weight gain. If so, changing the Norvir/Lexiva to the integrase inhibitor raltegravir (Isentress) might alleviate this complication.

I hope that this information helps and best of luck to you!

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