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WHEN will a cure for Lipo be found?
Jun 2, 2010

OK I have been reading the answers to the questions regarding lipodystrophy and lipoatrophy and I tend to get angry every time I do. I have spent approx. 10,000 dollars on Sculptra with no positive results (seems like the only result that is favorable is the initial first few days) and I have spent 5000 dollars to have cheek implants, which do help at the top of my cheek, but does nothing for the major part of the cheek and actually make my eyes look more sunken. Both times I have been assured by doctors that I would have a better looking appearance and both times I have been over-whelmingly disappointed and angered. I understand that most doctors are only looking out for themselves and their wallets, but why at the expense of vulnerable patients who are looking for a miracle? I also have to think that the meds are the only culprit and not age, sex, t-cell count, time with HIV, etc, etc, etc that you all keep telling us. Being HIV positive is already extremely hard on us as we have to live with the uncertainty of the disease, hoping our next blood work comes out as good as our last; we don't need false hope, given by these wallet-fishing doctors; we need results. Either find a cure for this Scarlett Letter or work to get insurance to pay for these procedures as they are a side-effect of the meds or take the culprit ingredients out of the meds.

BTW, the reason I believe that lipo is a result of the meds, and not from all of these other things you all keep saying, is because I have had 2 partners die from AIDS and both looked great prior to becoming sick with their final illnesses. Best, DT

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello and thanks for posting.

I agree with most of your points.

There is no question that lipoatrophy really sucks, the medications are to blame, current treatments are not ideal, but are really expensive.

The good news is that newer treatments are better and less likely to cause this problem. Medicare recently approved treatment for HIV-related lipoatrophy and the details should be forthcoming very soon. Once Medicare approves payment for a procedure, it is harder for private insurance companies to deny payment.

You are off base about doctors. Most doctors usually get into the field because of a desire to help people and/or to please their mothers. Bright people interested in wallet-fishing tend to choose a career in investment banking, insurance sales, business, or finance instead of medicine.

With regard to your facial lipoatrophy, you might benefit from a second opinion and a fresh look at your situation.

Also, if you have private insurance, submit a claim to recover your costs for treatment. When your wallet-fishing insurance company denies your claim, file an appeal. When they deny the appeal, appeal that denial. Then write to your congressman and your senator and the State insurance commissioner, and the President. Otherwise, nothing will happen. It starts with you.



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