We set a new record, 42 guys showed up to talk about Facial Wasting. We’re becoming the place to be. Come join us!
We defined facial wasting as the fat loss from the face and one of the components of lipodystrophy. Although it’s not exactly known what causes fat to waste from some area and redistribute in other area, as many as 48% of people taking HIV-drugs may experience it. Most doctors now believe that nucleoside analogues such as Zerit and AZT may be the cause and not Protease Inhibitors.
Reversing facial wasting can partially be accomplished by switching drugs, but this may only partially correct the damage. We discussed a couple medical procedures, Sculptra or New Fill, Radiesse and Silicone.
Silicone is not approved for facial wasting, but some doctors are using it off-label. Radiesse is temporary, but immediate. Sculptra is longer lasting, approximately two years, but takes a month or so to generate the collagen.
We watched a video from Mark S King and ‘My Fabulous Disease’ about a Facial Wasting Procedure he video taped.
We discussed the cost. Sculptra and Radiesse have Patient Assistant Programs that will provide the drug for free for low-income patients, but you would still have to pay the doctor for the procedure. This might be several hundred dollars per visit and you might require 4-6 visits.
In March, 2010, Medicare approved covering the cost of facial filling treatments for HIV patients who are depressed.
Occasionally, some local doctors offer special programs where they cover these procedures for low-income people. The Wellness Center and Project Link has made these offers public a few times. When we hear about these, we will pass the information along in the website.
We also talked about the stigma people with facial wasting feel. Athough, facial wasting itself is not a dangerous health risk, it can have a serious impact on emotional and mental health. Many people with facial wasting may feel stigmatized that the facial wasting is an “HIV tattoo” indicating to the world their HIV status. This could result in a loss of self confidence and self-esteem.
After break, we discussed the Three Thanksgiving dinners coming up. Fusion is having a Pot Luck dinner on Thursday November 18. The Wellness Center is having a Thanksgiving luncheon on Saturday November 20. And Sunshine Cathedral is having a Thanksgiving Day dinner open to all. Information of these activities are in other blogs and on our calendar.
14 or us went to Peter Pan where we continued the conversation.
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