HIV-Positive Men Taking Erectile Dysfunction Drugs More Likely to Take Sexual Risks and Have Syphilis

Published: November 14, 2014

The Body Pro
Barbara Jungwirth
Original Article:

HIV-positive men who had been prescribed medication for erectile dysfunction had a higher rate of syphilis and were more likely to have engaged in sexual risk behaviors than those who had not been prescribed such drugs, according to a study presented at IDWeek 2014.

The study, which was a retrospective cross-sectional sub-study within the larger AIDS Clinical Cohort study, evaluated 1,170 HIV-positive men at the University of Alabama at Birmingham HIV clinic, 269 (23%) of whom had been prescribed erectile dysfunction drugs (EDD).

Previous studies had established that EDD are used more often by HIV-positive men compared to the general population, and even more often by HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) compared to HIV-positive heterosexual men. Increased rates of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) among both HIV-positive and HIV-negative men in the year before and the year after starting EDD have also been documented.

This study sought to determine whether rates of STI screenings, as well as STIs, are different for HIV-positive men on prescription EDD — who within that cohort is more likely to be prescribed such medications in the first place — and how prevalent sexual risk behaviors and substance abuse are among HIV-positive men taking prescription EDD. The STIs considered were syphilis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT).

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