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second opinion re meds causing lypodystrophy

Jun 10, 2004

I am a healthy 40-year old woman, positive 15 years, taking Sustiva, Viracept and Ziagen for about 5 years. Undetectable viral load and T-cells in 700 range. With this regimen, have had marked lypodystrophy. Am also concerned about long-term negative side effects.

I trust my doctor, but she is very conservative. I would like the names of 2 or 3 well-reputed, cutting-edge physicians to consult for second opinion regarding medication holiday or other treatment alternatives. Am willing to travel.

Thank you.

Response from Dr. Lee

Lypodystrophy is a very disturbing effect of HIV and may be exacerbated by certain of the medications used to treat HIV. You are actually on a regimen with elements that have relatively low reported incidences of body fat changes. However, there may be additional treatments for your situation. I would suggest that you start by asking your doctor what else may be done. If she has no additional suggestions, you could ask her for a referral for additional help (most docs should be ok with such a request). If she has no suggestions, consult the HIV Medical Association or the or the American Academy of HIV Medicine which have referral lists. REmember that treatment of HIV is prolonging your life and carefully consider any treatment interruption.

Be well.

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