, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 670-676
Date: 11 Jan 2008

Sexual Difficulties in People Living with HIV in France—Results from a Large Representative Sample of Outpatients Attending French Hospitals (ANRS-EN12-VESPA)

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Abstract

We analysed sexual difficulties in a nationally representative sample of HIV-infected outpatients in France. Analyses were restricted to the 1,812 HIV-treated participants who reported at least one sexual partner during the 12 months prior to the study. The sample included 40.6% homosexual men and 24.4% women; 68.1% had a steady partner and 48.2% reported casual partners. Sexual difficulties were reported by 33.3% of the selected individuals and were more frequent in those with low sexual activity. Immuno-virological outcomes were not associated with sexual difficulties. After multiple adjustment for sexual frequency and antidepressant consumption, it was found that a larger HIV-network, reporting HIV-discrimination from friends and/or sexual partners, suffering from lipodystrophy and reporting very disturbing HIV-related symptoms were all significantly associated with sexual difficulties. HIV and HIV-treatment experience are associated with sexual difficulties. Psychological support focused on HIV-experience should be tested as a possible tool for improving sexual quality of life.

The VESPA study group includes: A.D. Bouhnik (INSERM U379/ORS PACA), R. Dray-Spira (INSERM U88), J. Fagnani (CNRS-UMR Matisse), I. Heard (INSERM U430), F. Lert (INSERM U88), Y. Obadia (ORS PACA/INSERM U379), P. Peretti-Watel (ORS PACA/INSERM U379), J. Pierret (CERMES-INSERM U504-UMR 8559), B. Riandey (INED), M.A. Schiltz (CERMES-INSERM U504-UMR 8559), R. Sitta (INSERM U88) and B. Spire (INSERM U379/ORSPACA).