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HIV-Associated Facial Lipoatrophy

JAMES, JULIA, MD*; CARRUTHERS, ALASTAIR, MD*; CARRUTHERS, JEAN, MD

ORIGINAL ARTICLES
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BACKGROUND HIV-infected individuals are living long, healthy lives. They are now concerned with less life-threatening problems, especially lipodystrophy.

OBJECTIVE To review the current state of our knowledge about lipodystrophy in HIV-infected individuals.

METHODS The literature was reviewed and analyzed for relevant information. In addition, our clinical experience of managing such individuals was utilized.

RESULTS Lipodystrophy and facial lipoatrophy and their relationship to HIV-infection are discussed. Their differences are noted. The spectrum of appearance in individuals with facial lipoatrophy is described and a severity scale suggested which should be of value in assessing the results of treatment.

CONCLUSION Lipodystrophy and lipoatrophy are intimately related to infection with HIV. In consequence, facial lipoatrophy is a major stigma for HIV-infected individuals and can have dramatic effects on their self-esteem and socialization. Effective treatment is essential.

*Division of Dermatology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Department of Ophthalmology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Alastair Carruthers, MD, Carruthers Dermatology Center, Suite 820, 943 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC, Canada V524E1, or e-mail: alastair@carruthers.net.

© 2002 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc.
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