HIV Facial Wasting Causes
The exact causes of Facial Wasting are not fully understood.
However, a number of studies suggest that mitochondrial toxicity involving superficial adipose (fat) cells may underlie facial wasting causes.
Certain HIV medications have been linked to lipoatrophy.
Zidovudine (AZT, Retrovir), stavudine (Zerit), didanosine (ddI, Videx) have been identified as the agents with the greatest risk of producing facial lipoatrophy. Zidovudine is also a component in the combination products Combivir and Trizivir.
Avoiding use of agents that are linked to lipoatrophy is a prudent strategy and most front-line regimens do not include there medications. There are studies that have shown improvement of lipoatrophy when these medication were stopped and patients were switched to an alternative medication.