Erectile Dysfunction in Men with HIV?
Men living with HIV are more likely to have erectile dysfunction (ED) problems, according to a study that since 1986 has followed US military personnel who have been living with the virus.
This condition seems to be related to two types of factors: some are associated with the HIV infection itself, like a delay in starting a treatment or the use of a specific type of antiretroviral drug, and the others are traditional factors, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or smoking.
The study group, which has just been published in the specialized journal HIV Medicine, included 5,682 men who are active or retired military personnel, and who are treated by health services of the United States armed forces. Of these, 488 men had been diagnosed with ED after they had been detected for HIV.
According to the website of the HIV Treatment Working Group (gTt-HIV), the research team observed that the average age of ED diagnosis for all the men considered in the study was 31 years.
Specific and Traditional Factors
After analyzing the different variables, researchers found that specific HIV-related factors were significantly associated with the diagnosis of ED. These factors were: having taken a specific type of antiretroviral medicine, called protease inhibitors (one of the oldest classes of HIV drugs) for more than a year and/or starting antiretroviral treatment more than four years after being diagnosed with HIV.
Specifically, delay in initiating antiretroviral treatment was associated with a two-fold increased risk of developing ED, and the use of protease inhibitors for more than a year increased that risk by 81%.
Regarding the traditional factors of dysfunction, more than cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, and diabetes were the diseases that were most associated with the condition. In particular, sleep apnea was associated with a 2.5 times higher risk of ED. In contrast, it was observed that not smoking decreased the risk of developing ED by 19%.
If you still do not know your HIV status, in AHF we can help you. We have HIV testing services, counseling, and linkage to treatment, totally free. Contact us through our country offices in Latin America and the Caribbean.