About AIDS

The stereotypical AIDS patient is often pictured as a gaunt, emaciated person, hardly more than skin and bones. This is because one of the main manifestations of AIDS is "wasting syndrome," in which the patient experiences dramatic weight loss. The person with AIDS may be unable to eat or unable to process the food that is eaten, and the body begins to ravage its muscle tissues and even organs, desperately searching. Indeed, wasting is the one consistent corollary to death. Maintaining adequate muscle mass is now understood as necessary for continuing health and even life itself.

If you are HIV-positive, it is critical to monitor your body composition regularly. Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) is a quick and painless way to monitor your body composition and measure muscle mass. Physical changes which result in losing muscle tissue and gaining fat are common occurrences in HIV infection, and they may be caused by the infection itself or by medications. You may continue to weigh the same, despite feeling tired or even changing appearance. If your muscle mass is less than optimal, there are several ways to promote muscle growth.

Interested HIV-positive persons may call ASA and have this procedure done at no cost. BIA testing is recommended every 4-6 months as part of your ongoing medical management. For an appointment, please call 406-6140.

-- Mary Miller, RD, LD, Nutritionist
-- Sandy Bartlett, Community Information/Education Coordinator AIDS Services of Austin

ASA Info Line: 458-AIDS E-mail: ASA@fc.net

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Aids, Aids, A.i.d.s., Hiv, H.i.v., Asa, Aids Services Of Austin

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