Q and A

Question

Should I switch treatment if I have fat loss?

Hi

Thank you for your informative website.

I have been on Truvada and efavirenz for a while now. In the last few weeks and months I have noticed some fat loss from my face and buttocks. I have been doing some research and changing meds seems to be the best option to reduce the fat loss.

Do you think it is a good idea to talk to my doctor about changing my meds?

I’m also considering going for a filler.

Answer

Hi

As with any symptom or worry about a symptom, it is important to talk to your doctor.

If your current combination included either d4T (stavudine) or AZT (zidovudine) then guidelines clearly recommend switching to alternatives.

However, the combination you are using is not usually linked to fat loss, so the first thing is for your doctor to look at any changes. Sometimes it is easy to worry about symptoms, especially if they are mild, which are not real or progressing. Efavirenz has been linked to fat loss, but this is much rarer so please have a specialist look at this.

If your symptoms are confirmed and are still mild, then may not need any corrective treatment. If you have moderate of severe facial fat loss, then in the UK a product called polylatic acid (PLA, New-Fill) is appropriate, but this is not technically a filler.

Nothing has been shown to effectively and safely treat fat loss from the buttocks, other than exercises and weight training to develop muscle growth to cover the fat loss.

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