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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2009 Sep;23(9):699-714. doi: 10.1089/apc.2008.0230.

A systematic review of permanent and semipermanent dermal fillers for HIV-associated facial lipoatrophy.

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  • 1ASERNIP-S, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Adelaide, South Australia.


The objective of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of injectable semipermanent and permanent dermal fillers, compared to other facial augmentation techniques, for the management of facial lipoatrophy as a result of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for HIV infection through a systematic review of the literature. A systematic search strategy was used to retrieve relevant studies. Inclusion of articles was by the application of a predetermined protocol, independent assessment by two reviewers, and a final consensus decision. One randomized controlled trial (RCT), one pseudo-RCT, two nonrandomized comparative studies, and seven case series were included for review. Injections with permanent and semipermanent dermal fillers improved subjective ratings of appearance and resulted in high patient satisfaction. Although short-term safety appeared favorable, of the seven studies that reported lumps, three studies reported these events in more than 40% of patients. Long-term safety data were lacking. Evidence suggests that permanent and semipermanent dermal fillers achieve their objective, which is to decrease the visible effects of HIV-associated facial lipoatrophy, with high patient satisfaction. Safety appears favorable in the short term, but further studies are required to determine long-term outcomes.

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