Facial Fillers Now Allow HIV-positive and AIDS Patients to Avoid Social Stigma

Share Article

Dr. Scott W. Mosser, a San Francisco Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon reflects on options for facial fillers to treat HIV+ associated facial lipoatrophy (facial wasting). Dr. Mosser focuses on Sculptra, the only product approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat HIV-associated facial wasting.

No matter what the illness, patients never want to have a constant reminder of their condition

Reflecting on advancements in the treatment of HIV / AIDS patients in anticipation of World Aids Day on December 1st, Board-Certified San Francisco Plastic Surgeon Dr. Scott Mosser of San Francisco, California reports that at least one aspect of HIV-positive stigma, facial wasting, is now a highly treatable condition.

Facial wasting (facial lipoatrophy) is a side-effect of a variety of the medications used in HIV treatment. It is estimated that facial lipoatrophy occurs in approximately 40% of people with HIV who are treated with anti-HIV medication for periods longer than one year.

"No matter what the illness, patients never want to have a constant reminder of their condition," says Dr. Mosser. "It's even worse still, if that reminder is on a patient's face for everyone else to see as well."

Many different treatment options now exist for facial volume replacement, from less permanent fillers such as Restylane®, Radiesse® and Juvéderm® to longer-lasting fillers such as Sculptra®.

Sculptra® is the first and only product approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to restore and/or correct the signs of facial fat loss (lipoatrophy) in people with human immunodeficiency virus. It appears to be especially promising because of the longer effect of this particular treatment, which typically lasts two years before the volume effect starts to diminish.

Dr. Mosser, a trainer of other physicians for the proper use of Sculptra, has considerable experience in the use of this medication to treat facial lipoatrophy. He describes that one of the key features of this medication is that it helps the body produce more of its own collagen to solve the problem of decreased facial volume.

"While the results of other fillers such as Restylane and Cosmoplast last only a few months," says Dr. Mosser, "Sculptra can last two years or more because it causes the body to produce more of its own collagen. It's been a great experience to give HIV+ patients back a sense of normalcy with this particular treatment." Sculptra treaments are followed by frequent facial massage (administered by the patient) for 5 days, and patients may experience short-term swelling and minor bruising after treatment. Side effects are infrequent and include small areas of firmness beneath the skin, which are thought to be related to inadequate post-treatment massage.

All patients should discuss the pros and cons of facial fillers with a Board-Certified administering physician before deciding which option is right for them.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Scott W. Mosser, MD

415 398 7778
Email >
Visit website