Improving quality of life
If you are taking anti-retroviral medications to treat HIV and have noticed a weight loss or gain, experienced changes to your body shape, or are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, the HIV Nutritional and Metabolism Clinic in the Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Tufts Medical Center can help.
We provide a warm, professional environment to address your concerns with dietary counseling, medications and recommendations for lifestyle enhancement. We are committed to improving the quality of life for patients with HIV.
At the clinic, you will meet with a doctor and a nutritionist who understand the unique challenges you face. We will work closely with you to develop an effective, long-term treatment plan.
A clinic designed for you
The HIV Nutritional and Metabolism Clinic grew out of our research into the complications experienced by HIV patients as they maintained a long-term regimen of anti-retroviral medications. We wanted to use what we learned and are continuing to learn to benefit patients.
HIV patients may experience an extreme weight loss, known as wasting, or they may gain a large amount of weight. Even subtle unintentional weight changes can be a concern. Some patients may notice unusual changes in their body shape as fat is lost or gained in a specific area. This condition known as lipodystrophy affects 30 to 50 percent of people infected with HIV. Additionally, HIV patients may have abnormal lipid profiles that could indicate a risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes. These complications may be due to the HIV infection, the treatments for the disease, general lifestyle, or a combination of the three.
At the clinic, you will find experts who can address all of these concerns. The lead physicians are Christine Wanke, MD, and Gretchen Volpe, MD, infectious disease specialists who have extensive experience in treating HIV and a passion for improving the lives of their patients.
Many of our patients are referred here by their primary care givers. Others refer themselves. This clinic may be for you if you have experienced subtle or large weight changes, a shift in your body shape, have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, or have concerns about your heart health due to lifestyle or family history.
Our first step is to understand more about your specific complications. During our first meeting, we will talk with you about what is happening and do any necessary screening tests. This may include an in depth dietary evaluation that starts during your appointment and continues with follow up e-mails.
A personalized treatment plan
Once we know more about your health, we will work with you to develop a long-term treatment plan. This may include dietary changes, exercise and other life style changes and medications such as appetite stimulators, growth hormone replacement or testosterone replacement.
As we develop this plan, we will include your primary care provider to ensure that it is integrated with your overall health care.
We will have follow up visits with you to monitor your progress and the effectiveness of the plan. In between those visits, we will stay in touch with you via phone calls and emails. We are always available to answer your questions or address any concerns.
We work with patients facing a range of issues including weight changes, lypodystrophy, metabolic syndrome and concerns over heart disease. We are able to thoroughly evaluate your patients and make recommendations for long term treatment plans. We will work with you to integrate our recommendations into your patient’s overall care plan. We can stay in touch with you by phone, e-mail or letter depending on your preference.