About AIDS

ASA Hosts Sept. 28 Seminar: Lipodystrophy and Neuropathy

People with HIV/AIDS are living longer than ever - and generally with a higher quality of life. However, serious new problems have become commonplace as a result of medication side effects and of long-term HIV infection. Two of the most common, complex, and challenging are lipodystrophy and neuropathy.

Lipodystrophy, broadly speaking, is a metabolic disorder or syndrome: The body begins dealing with fats (lipids) in inappropriate and sometimes bizarre ways, as if it no longer knows what to do with them. It may range from simple sunken cheeks to disfiguring fat accumulations. Cause is unknown: Certainly the medications play a role, as may long-term HIV infection. Effective treatment is elusive.

Neuropathy is pain, tingling, burning sensation, or numbness, which is sometimes crippling. It usually occurs in the feet and legs, sometimes also in the hands and arms. Both the anti-HIV drugs and the disease itself can be causes, and again, effective treatment is problematic.

To explore these issues - their definitions, their causes, their treatments - AIDS Services of Austin (ASA) is offering a seminar on Friday, September 28. Presenting will be researcher and physician Dr. Armando Meza, assistant professor in infectious diseases from Texas Tech Medical School in El Paso. People with HIV, their caregivers, clinicians, and service providers are encouraged to attend and bring their questions. The program is 12:30-2:30pm at ASA, 7215 Cameron, just north of St. Johns. For information, call ASA's Sandy Welles, RN, at 458-AIDS.

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