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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Pot Belly
Aug 4, 2000

Are there HIV meds that cause the development of a pot belly and "jowls" under the ear. My husband is living with HIV, has lost weight in his butt and legs, but has developed an awfully large pot belly and "tits".

Response from Dr. Henry

You are describing lipodystrophy/fat redistribution syndrome/"crix belly"/"protease paunch". The cause of this syndrome is unclear, but there are personal factors which may place a person at risk for the syndrome (for example, time living with HIV, CD4+ count at nadir, age) and certain medications are more associated with this syndrome than others (d4T and the protease inhibitors), although the data conflicts somewhat on that. Treatment options are limited. You can read more about this on this site or at

Keith Henry, M.D.

Is it the meds?
Degenerative spine

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