About AIDS

Treatment Seminar for Lipodystrophy on June 11

What to do about the body changes resulting from being HIV-positive? That was one of the main topics for research presentations this spring at the Anti-Retroviral Conference in Boston and will be the subject of a free community forum on Wednesday, June 11.

One of the most challenging aspects of having HIV is the range of metabolic disorders caused either by the disease or its treatment, or both. The most distressingly noticeable are forms of "lipodystrophy" -- the body's failure to deal with fats and store them properly. Fats may build up inappropriately, as in thick fat pads under the abdominal muscles or between the shoulder blades (primarily in men) or lumpy fat deposits in the breasts of women. Simultaneously, the body may drain away the fats that should keep a person's face or limbs full-looking, so that he or she winds up looking gaunt and wasted. Medical science is not yet clear as to whether this is damaging to one's health, per se, but it sure does cause problems with self-esteem and self-image. Poz people are often very depressed, possibly even withdrawn, over their altered appearance.

To talk about "Emerging Therapies for Lipodystrophy and Facial Wasting," the Wright House Wellness Center is bringing Houston's Nelson Vergel, a long-term HIV survivor and noted treatment advocate, especially on the topics of wasting and wellness. He is the co-author of the book Built to Survive, a guide to the medical use of anabolic therapies, exercise, and nutrition for HIV-positive men and women. He also founded the Body Positive Wellness Clinic in Houston and has been an active member of the national AIDS Treatment Activist Coalition and the advisory body to the AIDS Clinical Trials Group. To read more about Nelson's approaches, go to www.medibolics.com or www.facialwasting.org.

The seminar is made possible through the support of Boeringer-Ingelheim, a major drug manufacturer in HIV/AIDS therapies.

In seminars around the country, Nelson has addressed ways to increase lean body mass, strength, and energy levels; emerging therapies for lipodystrophy and facial wasting; and the best ways to minimize other debilitating side effects of HIV medications.

All HIV-positive people and their caregivers are urged to come hear Nelson Vergel's empowering talk. It will be at the Norris Conference Centers, 2525 Anderson (back side of Northcross Mall) from 6:30 to 9pm. Refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP to monica@thewrighthouse.org or call 467-0088.

Monica Leal, Program Coordinator

The Wright House Wellness Center

and Sandy Bartlett, Community Education Coordinator

AIDS Services of Austin

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