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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Mar 13, 2006

I have been diagnosed with HIVfor almost 10 years, and HepC for 5. I have been hiv undetectable for several years, and no damage from hepc at the moment. However I am experiencing fat redistribution: belly, chest accumulation with skinny arms, no butt, no cheeks, skinny legs. My doctor refuses to have a discussion of short term testosterone therapy, she states my testosterone level is not low enough to prescribe. Is testosterone level the only indicator of clinical necessity? It seems that everyone I know is on test. therapy, why not me? I am only 33, and cant imagine what I might look like at 43, 53, 63?

Response from Dr. Henry

A recent study lat month) from the ACTG of testosterone for lipodystophy showed that it did not restore loss of fat (actually fat continued to be lost from subcutaneous areas) and did not decrease deep internal (visceral) fat. Thus its efficacy for that purpose has not been proven and it could make some types of lipodystrophy worse. Testosterone may have a number of quality of life benefits but can also cause a worsening of serum lipids and an uncertain impact on risk for prostate cancer so its use is sometimes hard to clearly justify (other than from quality of life viewpoint which is an important considerations). KH


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