Dec 012011

Pathology, which consists of a poor distribution of fat in the body, affects those who live with the HIV virus. Many sufferers avoid anti-retroviral treatment for not suffering from it.

The medical definition named lipodystrophy as a disorder related to the poor distribution of fat in the body, which tends to get progressively worse. Prints on the human figure, which become the tell-tale sign of AIDS, are the breasts and prominent bellies, sunken cheeks and legs and arms consumed.

"For those who have access to medication, AIDS went from being the deadly disease of the 1980s to a chronic infection. The benefits of these techniques are indisputable; However, present new challenges", warns Marcela, patient and member of an Argentine network of people living with HIV.

According to the woman, to the wide range of aesthetic and personal problems that result from having lipodystrophy, we must attach you the absence of public policies and programs that take into account the problems, in order to reduce the percentage of abandonment of antiretroviral treatments on the one hand, and to also generate responses to the new challenges that presents the epidemic, on the other.

"The theme is even part of the agendas of NGOs and networks of people living with HIV. In health services, it is proposed as a lesser evil, Relativizing the complaints of patients as a simple matter of coquetry", laments Marcela. Therefore, one of the main challenges of medicine in this matter, according to you, should be "gaze there, where there was a detour".

Karina, who also suffers from facial lipodystrophy, ensures that it always seems sick. "Even if you are well and that my viral load is undetectable, I can not hide it, I can not dress her up, makeup does nothing and creams were not invented for this", says.

Another patient, Esther, surpassed any discomfort after 12 years of treatment. "What was once my wrist now is the size of my arm and my leg, which before had muscles and forms, became two weaklings sticks. Years ago I stopped getting skirts and just recently I could withstand looks", account.

In a society where discrimination prevails, often those who live with the virus - adds Marcela are lipodystrophy as a major obstacle to achieve adherence to treatment, given the violence and humiliation situations who suffer before the recognizable features of the disease in the body.

Vincent is an example of that kind of people. It suffers from facial lipodystrophy since 2008 and hesitate to continue with medication by its consequences. "Now I don't think that it may be before. I don't know if this is going to continue, if it is going to stop, but every time I'm worse. I know that pills make me good health, but also to make that my face is this and that the entire neighborhood knows that I'm sick,"she confesses.

Lipodystrophy, the indelible mark of AIDS