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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Benign lipomas
Oct 31, 2007

I get lipomas that develop on my arms and upper body and now have a dozen or so on my arms and four or five on my torso. My doctor has told me that they're benign, don't need to be excised and the condition I have is called Dercan's or Dercam's (not sure) Syndrome with lipomas. Although I had one or two prior to starting HAART, I have many more since, some of which have been excised. Is there a connection between the increase in the number of these benign lipomas and HAART (and/or HIV), what is the correct name of this condition and what I can do about it as they look quite unsightly?

Response from Dr. Henry

Lipomas occur in the general population so clear linkage with either HIV or a specific HIV regimen can be tough to establish. Lipomas constitute a part of the spectrum of lipodystrophy that is concern in HIV+ patients. HIV specialists are generally familiar with which HIV regimen are more likely to cause fat distribution problems and whether a switch to an alternative regimen could attenuate the problem. None of the more commonly used HIV regimens using boosted protease inhibitors or efavirenz + a non-thymidine analogue containing NRTI regimen (avoiding AZT or D4T--usually Truvada or Epzicom) have been clearly linked to significant increased risk for lipomas but they still occur occasionally. There may be a genetic predisposition that is hard to pin down. KH

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