Doctors at ESD have been closely involved in providing care for people living with HIV / AIDS (PLWHA) since the 1980’s. Over that time we have cared for over 1800 PLWHA.
The success of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has transformed HIV infection into a manageable chronic disease. The life expectancy for a newly diagnosed HIV patient in Australia approaches that of the general population provided they receive regular care. For most people this will mean life-long daily medication with a combination of antiretroviral drugs.
At ESD we are committed to proving you with the best possible care. We will help you through the complicated issues around getting the most out of your treatment. For many people this will mean only having to take 1-3 tablets daily.
It is recommended that you have a regular check-up every 3-6 months to make sure that treatment is working properly to optimise your immune function. At regular checks ups you will see the doctor then have a blood test. This may be combined with a sexual health check-up if needed.
We are also closely involved in HIV research and clinical trials. If you are interested in being involved in a research study about HIV, please discuss this with your doctor to find out more.
Fat loss (wasting) is a common complication from older HIV medications. Fat wasting, also called lipoatrophy, usually involves the face, arms and legs. Some people also have fat build up on the abdomen or neck. Fat accumulation and fat loss make up the lipodystrophy condition.
A medication called Poly-L-lactic acid (PLA) or Sculptra is now available through the pharmaceutical benefit scheme for the treatment of HIV-related fat wasting. This means that most of the cost of treatment is covered by Medicare.
Note that Sculptra is injected into the face in areas where fat has been lost. Most people will have a course of injections a month apart for 3-5 months. Following Sculptra injections facial skin becomes fuller which improves the appearance of folds and sunken areas. This effect usually lasts for 1 – 3 years. Side effects can include bruising and lumps.
Doctors at ESD are experienced in Sculptra injections. If you are wondering about the possible benefits of treatment please book in with one of our doctors to discuss.