OBJECTIVE To evaluate effect of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) among HIV-infected adults with moderate to severe facial lipoatrophy as a side effect of long-term antiretroviral treatment. DESIGN A prospective open-label study METHODS Twenty-five HIV-1 patients with moderate to severe facial lipoatrophy who had been on antiretroviral treatment for more than 18 months were enrolled. rhGH (5 mg) was given every other day for 6 months. After treatment was completed, the participants were followed up for 6 months. Facial lipoatrophy was evaluated by computed tomography at months 0, 3, 6 and 12. RESULTS Nearly all participants (24 of 25) completed the study. The sum of bilateral soft tissue thickness at the level of zygomatics at months 0, 3, 6, 12 were 7.23, 8.59, 8.35, 8.60 mm, respectively. There was significant improvement from baseline in month 3 (p=0.009) and month 12 (p=0.021). In the 6 months of follow-up, the soft tissue showed no significant decrease. Several side effects including diarrhea, arthralgia, myalgia, mastalgia and hand numbness were seen, which were self-limited and transient. CONCLUSION rhGH is effective and relatively safe for moderate to severe facial lipoatrophy. Its effect was sustained at least for 6 months after the cessation of rhGH.