Biological depiction of lipodystrophy and its associated challenges among HIV AIDS patients: Literature review


Lipodystrophy syndrome is a medical condition characterized by the absence of adipose tissue without any underlying starvation or macromolecule breakdown. In HIV AIDS patients, the use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) can lead to an acquired form of lipodystrophy, with a prevalence ranging from 10% to 83% among HIV AIDS patients. It was aimed to review the current understanding of biological depiction and challenges related to lipodystrophy in AIDS patients. Relevant articles published in the English language were searched in PubMed, Google Scholar, and Google. Keywords used for the search were: lipodystrophy, lipodystrophy and HIV, ART and lipodystrophy, HIV treatment, metabolic syndrome and HIV. Articles with full abstract information were read for those that met the objective criteria of the review, then full text of the articles was accessed and used. It was revealed by the literature that patients who developed lipodystrophy are characterized by insulin abnormality, obesity, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, fatty liver disease, and ovarian dysfunction. Anthropometric measurements have been known to change significantly with lipodystrophy. HIV patients suffering from hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus, who take a protease inhibitor, are changing treatment or duration of treatment, and are women are the common risk factors for lipodystrophy. The metabolic syndrome seen in HIV patients associated with lipodystrophy can further be complicated to different adverse health effects and can result in increased morbidity and mortality rate if not treated. Existing studies have successfully identified several challenges faced by HIV AIDS patients due to lipodystrophy, including low self-esteem, compromised quality of life, and poor treatment adherence. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that there may be numerous other challenges that have yet to be discovered, emphasizing the need for further studies. It is recommended that managing dyslipidemia, treating diabetes mellitus, modifying lifestyle, and improving the anthropometric measurements have crucial roles to halt further complications associated with lipodystrophy.


Lamesa TA




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-morbidities
    • Other


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