man in the mirror

Michael Petrelis, Not Afraid Of A Little POZ Face

When lipodystrophy affects the face, deep creases and crevices in the cheeks appear, and this was once known as protease face, but has since evolved into poz face. Other ways lipodystrophy changes the body is when the back of the neck enlarges to the point of a buffalo hump shape, while the stomach expands into a protease paunch, which derives from one key ingredient to the drug cocktail. For some reason, this last term has not devolved to poz paunch. I’m living with poz face, buffalo hump and protease paunch, and I’m lucky enough to have public insurance and access to top-notch doctors and researchers. The reason why I’m mentioning all this is to, you’ll pardon the expression, put a face to what it is like to be a PWA in 2010, after more than a decade of being on ever-evolving cocktails. I consider my poz face to be one of character, and won’t be getting the facial filler treatment to puff up my cheeks. The looks of sadness, obnoxious emails from adversaries and occasional instant rejection when people on the street realize I’m a pozzie, are things I can live with.

—Michael Petrelis, the blogger and activist, is not letting vanity get in the way of a positive attitude about living with HIV [via]