Subcutaneous adipocyte apoptosis occurs in lipotrophic areas of patients with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)-associated lipodystrophy. Fourteen patients with HAART-associated lipodystrophy had 2 subcutaneous biopsies for evidence of adipocyte apoptosis, the second after a randomized change to nevirapine (n = 8) or after remaining on a regimen of indinavir-based HAART (n = 6). Apoptosis was assessed by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP-digoxigenin nick end-labeling method. Patients who were switched to nevirapine had a significant decrease in insulinemia and a significant increase in the glucose: insulin ratio. Overall, subcutaneous adipocyte apoptosis increased in 3 patients who were switched to nevirapine and in 3 who continued to receive indinavir but decreased in 2 patients switched to nevirapine and another 2 who continued to receive indinavir. Subcutaneous adipocyte apoptosis continues to occur in lipotrophic areas of patients with HAART-associated lipodystrophy despite switching from indinavir to nevirapine, suggesting that such a strategy will be useless for reversal of lipoatrophy.