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Depression. And Thank you.
Nov 1, 2009

Hello Dr. Pierone, I was reading a rather harsh posting about Lipoatrophy ("Why do Doctors keep doing this") and the first paragraph to your response I had to write down as it validated my thoughts and feelings of living with Lipoatrophy/Lipodystrophy. You wrote "It is preposterous to state that lipoatrophy is a little cosmetic phenomenon. If so, why would many people with this condition become isolated, depressed, and sometimes consider ending their lives as a result of it". My self esteem has been destroyed because of Lipoatrophy. I feel I've become a monster and embarrassed and humiliated to be out in public. It's hard to deal with people staring at you. I have been told by Doctors that others have it alot worse which shuts me down from talking further about it with them. I've been poz 12 years, been off medication just over 4 now. My viral load is around 35K and CD4 is around 500. Huge belly, Gaunt body. It's definitely got worse as time goes on so the virus is making things worse in my case. No depression pill is going to stop the stares in the store so I opt not to be on one. I've tried several in the past with no benefit. So few in Boston want to talk about the emotional toll Lipoatrophy can have on a patient and I find this shocking and frustrating. So I find great comfort when a Doctor or patient on the web understands exactly how I've been feeling and I just had to say Thank you, for understanding. Thanks for all you do.

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello, and thanks for your kind words.

Here is a link to the original post.

I wish there was a magic wand to reverse the body changes of severe lipodystrophy.

The treatments for facial lipoatrophy are very effective, but cost is a major challenge for most patients.

Treatment for body lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy are quite limited and we need better options.

If facial lipoatrophy is one of the reasons that you are getting stares then you should consider treatment of this aspect of the condition. This would be a step in a positive direction.

Good luck!



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