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HIV Facial Wasting Overview

HIV Facial Wasting Overview

HIV Facial Wasting (aka HIV Lipoatrophy) refers to an abnormal loss of body fat (Lipodystrophy), most notably the fat immediately beneath the skin, the subcutaneous fat. Facial Wasting is most prominent in the face, but it can also occur in the arms, legs, buttocks, and around the waist.

One of the most recognizable features of facial lipoatrophy is sunken cheeks that have lost their fullness and appear hollow. Mild facial lipoatrophy may be barely noticeable to the person experiencing it and unnoticeable to other people. If the lipoatrophy worsens, the outlines of the facial muscles can be seen through the skin.  This gives many HIV Patients a ghost-like and aged appearance that feels like a dead giveaway that they have HIV.  The consequences on a patients self esteem can be devestating.  Many do not leave the house, avoiding social situations.

4 Stages of Lipoatrophy

average face

NORMAL

MILD FACIAL WASTING

MILD LIPOATROPHY

MODERATE FACIAL WASTING

MODERATE LIPOATROPHY

SEVERE FACIAL WASTING

SEVERE LIPOATROPHY