Skip to content

    HIV & AIDS Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Growth Hormone Fights HIV Fat Syndrome

    Growth Hormone Combats Disfiguring Side Effect of Treatment

    continued...

    "No one has done this before," he tells WebMD. "We gave a substance that stimulates the body to make its own growth hormone, rather than giving growth hormone itself, as it's safer, more natural.

    "We now have proof that augmenting low growth hormone levels in this way has the potential to reverse the abnormal body composition that characterizes HIV lipodystrophy," Grinspoon says.

    In the study, 31 men with HIV lipodystrophy injected themselves twice daily with either growth hormone-releasing hormone or placebo for 12 weeks.

    Looking and Feeling Better

    "As expected, levels of growth hormone significantly increased in the men who received the treatment," Grinspoon says. "But more importantly, there was a redistribution of fat away from the abdomen -- and increases in fat in the legs and arms.

    "The redistribution of fat away from the abdomen reflects a change toward a more healthy heart health profile," Grinspoon says.

    Also, patients who received the treatment said they thought they looked better and "they felt better about themselves," he says.

    Jose Luis, MD, a clinician at Ramon y Cajal Hospital in Madrid, Spain, who presented a study at the meeting on the psychological effects of HIV lipodystrophy, praised the study.

    "There are many psychological repercussions to the condition, including social distress and anxiety," he tells WebMD. "So treatments that help patients feel better have a host of benefits."

    Luis said he hopes that with longer treatment, the substance will also help to fill out the gaunt faces of many sufferers. "Facial [wasting] has been shown to be one of the most distressing aspects of the condition, so hopefully this treatment can help that too."

    Grinspoon says the next step is a larger, longer study.

    1 | 2

    Today on WebMD

    misconception
    How much do you know?
    contemplative man
    What to do now.
     
    research
    Should you be tested?
    HIV under microscope
    What does it mean?
     
    HIV AIDS Screening
    Slideshow
    man opening condom wrapper
    Quiz
     
    HIV AIDS Treatment
    Feature
    Discrimination Stigma
    Feature
     
    Treatment Side Effects
    Feature
    grilled chicken and vegetables
    Article
     
    obese man standing on scale
    Article
    cold sore
    Article