Original Paper

AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 670-676

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

  • Anne-Déborah BouhnikAffiliated withHealth and Medical Research National Institute (INSERM)Southeastern Health Regional Observatory (ORSPACA) Email author 
  • , Marie PréauAffiliated withHealth and Medical Research National Institute (INSERM)Southeastern Health Regional Observatory (ORSPACA)Psychology Department, LABECD
  • , Marie-Ange SchiltzAffiliated withNational Centre of Scientific Research (CAMS-CERMES-CNRS-EHESS)
  • , Yolande ObadiaAffiliated withHealth and Medical Research National Institute (INSERM)Southeastern Health Regional Observatory (ORSPACA)
  • , Bruno SpireAffiliated withHealth and Medical Research National Institute (INSERM)Southeastern Health Regional Observatory (ORSPACA)
  • , and the VESPA study group

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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.

Keywords

Sexual difficulties HIV/AIDS Antiretroviral therapy