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On Wednesday, November 11, 2010, the FDA regulators announced approval of Egrifta, a first-of-its-kind treatment for HIV-associated lipodystrophy. Egrifta is a growth hormone releasing factor, given as a once a day injection, that works to reduce abominal fat in HIV patients. Drugs such as Crixivan, Viracept, Norvir and Invirase commonly experience an increase in fat depostis that can accumulate around the liver, the stomach and abdominal organs. Fat deposits can also form on the back of the neck commonly called Buffalo Hump.

In clinical trials involving more than 800 HIV-positive patients who took Egrifta daily for 26 weeks, patients reported improvements in self-image, as well as a reduction in abdominal fat deposits as shown by a CT scan.

In 2008, Vern Applebee from Dr Gary Richmond’s office came to our group and recruited some of our members for the clinical trials here in Ft Lauderdale. I was one of the recruits. The drug was then called TH9507 or Thera from the company that developed it.

I lost 7″ around my stomach during those 26 weeks and looked Fabulous. After the trials stopped and lost access to the drug, I regained most of the fat, as did other people from our group. The Egrifta people still need to do a maintenance study and there is talk that some of that study might be done in Ft Lauderdale. I will keep you updated on the study.

-Steve

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