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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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facial fat loss but not on treatment
Apr 20, 2008

Hi, I was infected several months ago. My current labs are VL 88000, CD4 413 27%. I seemed to have lost some weight on my face only, my cheeks are noticeably sunken. I am not on treatment yet. My doctor said my CD4 value should increase (since my infection is recent). Although I am not losing weight in general, I am already experiencing symptoms of facial wasting. Is this normal even though I am not taking any medications yet? Is there anything I can do the prevent it?I tried eating more but it simply added to my waistline with no noticeable change on my face. I am a 30 yo male who is healthy otherwise. thanks for your answer.

Response from Dr. Henry

Increased risk for facial fat loss has been related a lower CD4 nadir, increased age, and time with HIV. Family genetics play a large role so it may be worth noting if other family members have similar changes in facial fat in the same age range.If is not seen very often soon after HIV infection but is occasionally reported. Patients sometimes become more attentive to facial appearance after finding out about their HIV infection and though they seem to note fat loss it sometimes isn't confirmed by objective measures such as CT scan. KH

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