Australian researchers have added to the growing belief that fat loss from the face and extremities and fat gains in the abdomen and nape of the neck are distinct syndromes in HIVers. The researchers reported at the Seventh International Workshop on Adverse Drug Reactions and Lipodystrophy in HIV that their study of patients who switched from Zerit or Retrovir to Ziagen showed improvements in the loss of limb fat. But the treatment switch did not show a corresponding improvement in the buildup of abdominal fat; instead, it resulted in even greater fat gains.
Their findings lead the researchers to conclude that 'lipoatrophy and visceral obesity are at least partially independent processes.'
A study of 425 HIV-positive and 152 HIV-negative men reported in the December 2005 issue of HIV Plus also concluded that fat loss and fat gains in HIVers are distinct syndromes. Men who lost fat from their faces and extremities also tended to lose'not gain'fat in their abdomens, neck, and shoulders.