Background: HIV-infection is associated to an increased prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED). In HIV-infected men ED seems to be less related to serum Testosterone (T), depending from other factors.
Aim: To investigate the role of different components (organic, relational, psychological) of erectile function by using validate questionnaires in HIV-infected men with normal serum T.
Methodology: Prospective, cross-sectional, observational study on eugonadal HIV-infected male patients with ongoing Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) attending the Clinic of Infectious Diseases. The International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF)-15, IIEF-5 and Structured Interview for Erectile Dysfunction (SIEDY) were used to assess sexual function. Sexual desire was further evaluated through a direct question during the visit. LC-MS/MS was used to assess gonadal status.
Results: 225 HIV-infected patients were enrolled (mean age 45.19±5.36 years). SIEDY scores at appendix and scale 3 were significantly higher in patients with ED at IIEF-15 (n=136, 60.4%) compared with those without ED (P<0.001 and P=0.015, respectively). Conversely, scale 1 (P=0.448) and 2 (P=0.503) of SIEDY did not differ between patients with or without ED, suggesting a predominance of the psychological basis of ED in our cohort. The erectile function domain at IIEF-15 was directly correlated with IIEF-5 score (0.778, P<0.001). Similarly, the score at SIEDY appendix was significantly different among ED degrees at IIEF-15 (P<0.001). In particular, lower score was found in HIV-infected men without ED compared to those with mild, moderate and severe ED (P<0.001, P=0.001, and P<0.001, respectively), confirming the reliability of these tools. Sexual desire was impaired in 73 patients (31.33%) at interview with a good correlation with the specific item of IIEF-15 (P<0.001).
Conclusions: The psychological component impacts in a significant manner on ED in HIV-infection context. Despite the high prevalence of comorbidities in these patients, the organic component does not affect erectile function. All the three validated questionnaires seem to be trustworthy in the diagnosis of ED in this setting.
20 May 2017 - 23 May 2017