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High Cholestrol, Lipodystrophy, and Buffalo Hump
Sep 14, 2003

I was diagnosed as HIV+ in 1991. I have been a vegan for over 5 years. I had been on Norvir, Fortovase, Epivir, and Sustiva for ~3 years. Before that, I was on a Crixivan cocktail. About 5-6 years ago, I developed Lipodystrophy and "Buffalo Hump", and high cholestrol (controlled and treated with Gemfibrozil). A month ago, my doctor and I switched my cocktail to Norvir sid 1-100mg, Reyataz sid 2-200mg, Epivir sid 1-300mg, Viread sid 1-300mg, and Sustiva sid 1-600mg. Both the Lipodystrophy and Buffalo Hump are becoming increasingly frustrating from a quality of life standpoint.....especially, since I am Vegan. I have consulted with a dietician to address any dietary habits or deficiencies. I workout ~3 times a week (mostly weight training). I am 42yo, 6'2" tall, and my weight hovers around 230# (38" waist). What steps can I take to eliminate the High Cholestrol, Lipodystrophy, and Buffalo Hump. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I appreciate your efforts and caring!

Response from Dr. Henry

Sounds like a challenging situation. There will probably be no easy solution. I assume you need to be on HIV therapy (history of CD4 count < 250-350 or AIDS) so stopping therapy is not a good option. I am not sure that further switching of meds would help significantly. Whether to stop the 3TC would help is unclear to me. Your HIV specialist might be aware of studies looking at the use of some diabetes meds (such as metformin or rosiglitizone). The ACTG is conducting one such trial. Lipodystrophy can mean fat increase/fat loss or both so the approach mayh vary according to the specifics of the case. Some data looking at more intensive exercise and/or diet as a treatment approach has shown some promise. Frustrating is a good word for the situation many patients find themselves in! KH

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