Positively Aware, Current HIV news magazine

Positively Aware, The HIV News Journal published by the Test Positive Aware Network

POSITIVELY AWARE November/December 2012

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I am one of your biggest fans.

After reading your complete and concise article “The Mirror Has Two Faces,” I am compelled to post my feelings of suspicion about Sculptra because I used it for six sessions about four years ago.

I too had successful results, like Jeff. However, in November of 2011, I was diagnosed with oral squamous cell carcinoma in my left cheek and tongue. My physician caught it early; I needed to have part of my cheek removed and replaced with a skin graft, and also had laser surgery on my tongue at the same time. Needless to say, it was an atrocious ordeal, not to mention the medical costs (I only have Medicare). I have never smoked or used tobacco products. With all due respect, though I have no proof, I suspect Sculptra to be the cause.

—“Cancer Survivor”

Jeff Berry responds:
Thanks for your email, and for sharing your story. It sounds like you went through a terrible ordeal. I’m very sorry that you had to experience that, but I’m also glad to hear that you got through it okay and are a survivor. Hats off to you, my friend.

I did make a quick search and couldn’t find anything in the literature or in the prescribing information showing a direct link between Sculptra and cancer. However, patients should always consult with their primary care physician before undergoing any cosmetic procedure and weigh the risks and benefits, as well as always reporting any side effects or complications immediately.

You're not the only one

I just finished reading the September + October PA from cover to cover. First, I am so happy that you dedicated this edition to positive women.

I really enjoyed “Black Women, Society, and HIV,” “Battle of the Sexes,” and “Everyone Needs a Support System.”

All I can say is that in my 52 years on Earth, it’s a shame that we are still talking about oppression, lack of education, lack of health care for all, race relations, and affordable clinical care.

Although I didn’t agree with it all, I am certainly happy that PA is still willing to talk about conditions that should have changed ages ago.

Thank you and your staff for putting the spotlight on these issues again, especially during a presidential election year.

—Charlotte Moore
Chicago, IL


Positively Aware treats all communications (letters, faxes, e-mail, comments, etc.) as letters to the editor unless otherwise instructed. We reserve the right to edit for length, style, or clarity. Unless you tell us not to, we will use your name and city.

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