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Psychosom Med. 1998 Jan-Feb;60(1):11-6.

The relationship of mood, endocrine, and sexual disorders in human immunodeficiency virus positive (HIV+) women: an exploratory study.

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Aaron Diamond Foundation, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Cornell Medical College, USA.



This exploratory study assessed the prevalence of mood disorders, sexual disorders, and endocrine abnormalities, and explored the relationship between these parameters in a sample of HIV+ women.


Fifty-four HIV+ women were evaluated with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID) and measures of psychiatric symptom severity, psychological well-being, and sexual problems. Women also provided blood to establish CD4 cell count, serum total testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) levels.


Although overall levels of current Axis I diagnosis were low, Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) was diagnosed in 39% of the women. Forty-eight percent of the sample had deficient testosterone levels (below 20.0 ng/dl) and 27% had deficient DHEAS levels (below 35.0 microg/dl). We found no significant relationship between diminished sexual desire and deficient levels of testosterone, DHEAS, or mood disorder diagnoses. However, HSDD was significantly related to more depressive symptoms and lower life satisfaction. Women whose perceived risk factor for HIV infection included sexual contact were more than five times more likely to be diagnosed with a new onset HSDD than women who reported intravenous drug use (IVDU) as their only risk factor (47% vs. 9%, respectively).


We observed what seems to be high rates of HSDD and endocrine abnormalities with very low rates of mood disorders. Interestingly, endocrine abnormalities were not associated with low sexual desire. Our findings suggest that there is a significant unmet need for treatment of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder among urban HIV+ women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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