Picture of HIV Lipodystrophy
HIV lipodystrophy describes a constellation of changes in subcutaneous and visceral fat distribution in patients on antiretroviral therapy. In distinction to “lipoatrophy” (which describes local fat loss), lipodystrophy refers to both the accumulation of fat as well as the loss of fat in other areas. In HIV lipostrophy, the findings include subcutaneous fat loss in the malar and buccal fat pads, ie, facial lipoatrophy, as well as on the extremities. It also features fat accumulation on the dorsocervical fat pad, ie, buffalo hump (shown here), breast, and intra-abdominal cavity. Its characteristic appearance is significant, in that it reduces patient compliance with antiretroviral therapy and deprives patients of HIV status privacy, particularly in communities where HIV rates are high. This disorder is also associated with a host of metabolic disorders with long-term impact on health including hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and hypertriglyceridemia. Treatments vary according to the clinical findings.
Shown here is a "buffalo hump” in dorsocervical back of HIV-infected male.