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what was it like?
Oct 3, 2002

dr bob i don't know how you feel about sharing with us your personal experiences with this miserable piece of shit of a virus, but may i ask you one question? did your face thin out after you contracted hiv? did your face used to be wide? my face is like a narrow banana now, and i wanted to know if anyone else feels the same way about their situation. its not just a fat loss in the cheeks, its like a tissue loss all over the skull - in my case. i used to have a wide face, and now i feel horrible about how i look. (you look fine, i just wanted to know how YOU felt about your appearance IF it has in fact changed)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

No, I'm not shy at all about sharing my personal experiences with this, what did you call it? Oh, yes, "miserable piece of shit virus!" I've had kidney stones, peripheral neuropathy, erythema multiforme, and a host of other medication- and virus-induced conditions. Fat loss in the face is medically called lipoatrophy and yes, I've had that too. Now some folks say that the "new AIDS look" actually gives our faces character. I certainly don't mind wearing my AIDS battle scars to remind folks this epidemic is far form over, but looking in the mirror and not seeing the face you expect is indeed annoying. I had so many extra skin folds, I was beginning to look like a Shar Pei! It also makes shaving quite a challenge Several times over the past year, I was stopped at international borders or while getting on planes, because I no longer resembled my passport or driver's license photo! I finally decided enough was enough and had a plastic surgeon friend inject my sagging cheeks with New-Fill. The FDA has not approved use of New-Fill in the USA yet, but it's been used for facial lipoatrophy in Europe, Mexico, and South America for several years with excellent results. I'm quite happy with the cosmetic results I've obtained, and I've been encouraging the FDA to quickly grant approval to this product. That's my personal story. Consider seeing an HIV-knowledgeable plastic surgeon in your area to check out your options. And stay tuned to The Body for new and evolving treatments for lipoatrophy.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob


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