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AIDS Care. 2007 Sep;19(8):955-65.

Sexual dysfunction in HIV-positive men is multi-factorial: a study of prevalence and associated factors.

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  • 1Directorate of HIV/GU Medicine, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK.


To establish the prevalence of sexual dysfunction amongst HIV-positive men and to determine the factors associated with dysfunction we conducted a cross-sectional study in seven European HIV treatment centres. Data on medical history, antiretroviral treatment and laboratory results were collected by interview and case record review. Sexual function was evaluated by the participant self-completion of a questionnaire based on the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) 711/929. Seventy-seven percent of participants returned the questionnaire. Data from 668 (72%) respondents were included. Thirty-three percent (95%CI: 29.4-36.5%) had moderate/severe erectile dysfunction (EDF) and 24% (95%CI: 20.9-27.3%) had moderate to severe impairment of sexual desire. Variables significantly associated with EDF in multivariable analysis were older age (greater than 40 years), heterosexual status, non-alcohol drinking status, depression, antidepressants, psychotropic medications and duration of ARV therapy. Low sexual desire (LSD) was associated with older age (greater than 40 years), depression and black African ethnicity. We establish that EDF and LSD are common in both ARV naïve and ARV experienced, HIV-positive individuals. Erectile dysfunction was associated with long duration of ARV treatment, with a significantly increased risk of dysfunction in the quartile with the longest period of exposure. No significant association was seen with specific classes of anti-retrovirals. Older age, and depression were the variables most consistently associated with both EDF and LSD.

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