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Erectile Dysfunction in About 25% in Swiss With HIV, Not Tied to ARVs

Author: Mark Mascolini


09 July 2013

Nearly one quarter of men in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS) reported erectile dysfunction often or sometimes. Currently used antiretrovirals (ARVs) were not associated with erectile dysfunction.

SHCS investigators conducted this cross-sectional study of erectile dysfunction between December 2009 and November 2010. They used logistic regression analysis to assess the potential impact of 24 antiretrovirals on erectile dysfunction.

The analysis involved 4064 HIV-positive men who answered questions about erectile dysfunction. In that group 459 men (11%) reported experiencing erectile dysfunction often, 543 (13%) sometimes, 389 (10%) rarely, and 2526 (62%) never. The remaining 147 men (4%) did not know if they experienced erectile dysfunction.

Older men, those with an earlier HIV diagnosis, and those with depression reported erectile dysfunction more than other men.

Erectile dysfunction was not linked to any antiretroviral class. But erectile dysfunction was associated with cumulative exposure to zalcitabine (odds ratio 1.29 per year of use, 95% confidence interval 1.07 to 1.55) or enfuvirtide (odds ratio 1.28 per year of use, 95% confidence interval 1.08 to 1.52).

Zalcitabine (ddC), a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, is not prescribed today. Enfuvirtide (Fuzeon) is prescribed rarely. And the researchers do not believe the association between enfuvirtide and erectile dysfunction is causal.

Source: Qing Wang, Jim Young, Enos Bernasconi, Matthias Cavassini, Pietro Vernazza, Bernard Hirschel, Rainer Weber, Hansjakob Furrer, Marcel Stoeckle, Heiner C. Bucher, Christoph Fux, the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. The prevalence of erectile dysfunction and its association with antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected men: the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. Antiviral Therapy. 2013; 18: 337-344.

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