229396 Factors Associated with Sexual Functioning Among Individuals with HIV Infection

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 4:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Enbal Shacham, PhD , School of Public Health, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
Nur Onen, MD , School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Phoebe Souza , School of Social Work, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Michael Donovan , School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
E. Turner Overton, MD , Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Previous research has examined sexual behavior in the context of HIV transmission risk. The role of sexual function and its role in HIV prevention have been inadequately evaluated. Methods: This cross sectional study of 203 individuals with HIV followed in a publicly funded urban US HIV clinic was conducted to increase the understanding of sexual functioning and the factors to which it is associated. Demographics and the Sexual Function Questionnaire were included in interviews. The overall sexual function and multiple subscales were assessed ranging from 0-5, with higher scores equaling higher sexual function. Results: The majority of the sample was male, African American, with a median age of 43.5 years. More than three-quarters were currently on cART, of whom 74% had suppressed viral loads. Half of the sample reported being sexually active in the previous 3 months. Older individuals reported more challenges with sexual function due to medical impact, sexual function problems, and lower desire than younger participants. When compared to women and MSW, MSM reported higher sexual function on the masturbation, orgasm, desire and interest subscales; yet lower on the relationship subscale. Individuals with unsuppressed viral loads reported lower rates of arousal. Better overall health was associated with higher rates of overall sexual function, arousal, interest, and lower rates on medical impact. Conclusions: These findings suggest sexual function impacts individuals with HIV in ways related to important demographic, medical, and psychosocial factors. Further research is needed to increase understanding of the impact of sexual function on HIV transmission risk.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
As a result of this presentation, participants will understand the relationship between sexual function and health outcomes. As a result of this presentation, participants will describe the relationships of sexual function and demographic factors among individuals with HIV.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Sexuality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have participated in conducting this HIV and sexual health-related research study, as a MPH and MSW student I am continually receiving training in HIV-related health outcomes research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3404.0: Clinical Issues in HIV/AIDS