AIDS and Behavior

, 12:670 | Cite as

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 BouhnikEmail author
  • Marie Préau
  • Marie-Ange Schiltz
  • Yolande Obadia
  • Bruno Spire
  • and the VESPA study group
Original Paper


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.


Sexual difficulties HIV/AIDS Antiretroviral therapy 



This study was supported by the French National Agency for AIDS Research (ANRS, France).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne-Déborah Bouhnik
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Marie Préau
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Marie-Ange Schiltz
    • 4
  • Yolande Obadia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bruno Spire
    • 1
    • 2
  • and the VESPA study group
  1. 1.Health and Medical Research National Institute (INSERM)MarseillesFrance
  2. 2.Southeastern Health Regional Observatory (ORSPACA)MarseillesFrance
  3. 3.Psychology DepartmentLABECDNantesFrance
  4. 4.National Centre of Scientific Research (CAMS-CERMES-CNRS-EHESS)ParisFrance

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