Does HIV make you fat?

Does HIV make you fat? Study connects viral load with fat gains

First published on on 06 March 2015

Gus Cairns

HIV infection or inflammatory changes associated with it may be responsible for fat accumulation and body fat redistribution, rather than HIV drugs, the CROI 2105 conference heard last week.

Dr Grace McComsey of Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio said that although the association of subcutaneous fat loss (lipoatrophy) with mitochondrial damage caused by certain HIV drugs was well-established (and most of the world no longer uses the drugs like stavudine that are most strongly associated with it), two decades of research had failed to establish a cause for the distinctive fat gain(lipohypertrophy), especially in the  trunk and within the abdomen, seen in some people on antiretroviral therapy (ART).

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