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Prevention of Fat Loss and Lipoatrophy of the Face

A Video Blog

October 3, 2011

This article was cross-posted from "A Girl Like Me," a program of The Well Project.

(Dr Albert Canas applies Sculptra in my face)

Yes, many people are very afraid to start their HIV medications because of lipoatrophy or lipodistrophy (fat loss or gaining fat in some areas). Well there are many options now. One of the most important parts of a person's body is their face. This is like the cover of a magazine, and how we represent ourselves! Many people feel very depressed because they lose fat in their face and become stigmatized by it! Although medication is better today as it was 20 years ago, I use Sculptra to prevent fat loss in my face. I see the pain in peoples' eyes when they suffer from this. It makes them very depressed and makes them want to hide! Once they get their face back, I see them thriving, working, loving everything.

It's just very sad that sometimes, as Dr. Canas mentions in my vlog, that the most adherent patient is the one that can suffer from this condition the most! It is not fair! We should look how we feel in the inside ... not have high Tcells and undetectable viral loads, but with a face that is nothing like the person they use to see in the pictures! I am not talking about aging gracefully ... I am talking about holes in your cheeks and looking like a skeleton! So I am thankful that there is new and better medication out there with less side effects, as well as there are fillers like Sculptra, that either give you your whole life back or like me ... PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING AS LONG AS I CAN!

As always love and light,

Maria T Mejia

(The following video blog is in a 6-part series)

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This article was provided by The Well Project. Visit The Well Project's Web site to learn more about their resources and initiatives for women living with HIV. The Well Project shares its content with TheBody.com to ensure all people have access to the highest quality treatment information available. The Well Project receives no advertising revenue from TheBody.com or the advertisers on this site. No advertiser on this site has any editorial input into The Well Project's content.
 
See Also
An HIVer's Guide to Metabolic Complications
TheBody.com's Lipoatrophy Resource Center
Ask a Question About Facial Wasting at The Body's "Ask the Experts" Forums
More Personal Accounts of Facial Wasting (Lipoatrophy)

Reader Comments:

Comment by: David B. (Palm Springs, CA) Thu., Nov. 17, 2011 at 11:20 pm EST
I had at least 15 treatments with Sculptra which did improve the look of my face (I was a 4 on the scale they - at Kaiser - used to grade facial fat loss, 4 being the greatest amount of loss). I worked for several years, and it was difficult to get the fill complete. Finally, I sought out Silicone, done in Mexico by a highly experienced doctor. One treatment costing 250 dollars was all it took to produce a spectacular result in cheeks and temples. Silicone, I understand, is approved for use on HIV patients only for the face. My question is why this is not widely used. Perhaps it's the Sculptra and other fillers producers who have a lock on the market! Big Pharma at work again. It's all about money for those guys. The 99% getting screwed more!!
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Comment by: Bryan fleuru (Massachusetts) Thu., Nov. 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm EST
Excellent informative video and demonstration.... You look very beautiful
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Comment by: mark (buffalo,ny) Thu., Nov. 17, 2011 at 12:38 pm EST
It's nice to hear your comments, but I failed to see the need for the sculptura. I was expecting to see a before & after picture that shows how many of us look with the skeleton / concentration camp prisoner face. You look wonderful before the treatment. Maybe it was the lighting but I fail to see the cosmetic need in your case. Hopefully it was not vanity.
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BLOG:
Time to Show My Face and Take the Stigma Away


Maria T. Mejia

Maria T. Mejia

I am a 37-year-old Colombian female who lives in Miami, Florida. I've been positive for 20 years. Although almost all my life I've been in long-term relationships with HIV-negative men, I am happily married to a woman who is wonderful and caring. We have been together almost three years and she is HIV negative. I have no children but we will look into having! I am an activist, a peer educator, a caregiver. I volunteered for the Red Cross in education for the Hispanic HIV community and also the American community. I was a pre- and post-test counselor. I have spoken in many conferences and done a lot of outreach in the community, especially in the schools for prevention and education. It is part of my everyday life to educate everyone I can on this subject. Being HIV positive is nothing to be ashamed about! We are strong women, and we will take away all the stigmas slowly but we have to open up.

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Read more blogs by women living with HIV/AIDS at "A Girl Like Me"

A Girl Like Me

The Well Project shares its content with TheBody.com to ensure all people have access to the highest quality treatment information available. The Well Project receives no advertising revenue from TheBody.com or the advertisers on this site. No advertiser on this site has any editorial input into The Well Project's content.


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