Date: 13/05/2011

Author: Thabo Jobo and Neria Hlakotsa (Eldorado Park Urban News)

The effects of antiretroviral are steadily becoming daunting where HIV infected people start to develop serious conditions due to this medical treatment. It has been discovered that the effects of ARVs are starting to pose a serious medical concern, especially for men, where they develop women breasts.

On the other hand, women also develop a "gaunt face" or a "buffalo back" due to the ARV medical treatment, but a specialist says this can be reversed.
Last Thursday, at the newly renamed Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, a woman patient underwent a face surgery where a Lypodystrophy (redistribution of fat) was performed.

Performing this complex medical treatment was Dr Gabriel Doucas, and he said this is caused by the effects of ARVs. According to this health specialist, Doucas, the effects are serious as they affect the body in all levels including psychologically.

Doucas, who's been involved in this particular surgery since 2009, said with the gaunt face, a person loses fat on the genitals. Then there is a Gynaecomastia where males develop women breasts and the stomach is enlarged. "Then we have people who develop a buffalo back jus on top of the neck," he said. This, said the doctor, has been occurring since the ARV treatment was introduced, however, it is now becoming prevalent, he added.

As for people who might be experiencing these symptoms, Doucas said they will need to visit their medical practitioners and re-amend their medical treatment of the ARVs.

Doucas however said this does not raise an alarm as the situation can be reversed adding that patients are safe to undergo this treatment. "If they discover these symptoms, they need to go back to their clinical treatments and should not stop that treatment, he warned. He said only health instructions with resourceful medical equipment such as Bara can perform this medical operation.

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