Gender Issues and Sexual Dysfunction: An Update From the 1st International Workshop on HIV & Aging

October 21, 2010

This is part of a series of articles summarizing presentations from the 1st International Workshop on HIV & Aging, which took place in Baltimore, Md., from Oct. 4 to Oct. 5, 2010. Jump to the table of contents to see the other articles in this series.

Gender Differences in Aging With HIV

Eugenia Negredo, M.D., Ph.D., presented results from a Spanish study which found that, as HIV-positive people age, more women than men (80 percent vs. 60 percent) perceive their health to be affected so much that their daily activities are limited. The main complaint was fatigue.

Unfortunately, no in-depth review of fatigue diagnosis and treatment was included in this conference. I certainly hope they include this health issue in next year's conference, since it has shown to be the No. 1 complaint in several surveys. (I performed one such study a year ago; it was presented in last year's International Workshop on Adverse Drug Reactions and Co-Morbidities in HIV.)

Sexual Dysfunction, HIV and Aging

A German cohort study was discussed at this conference that included 750 men over 50 years of age in 37 treatment centers (250 were HIV positive, 250 were HIV negative but had diabetes, and 250 "healthy controls" had neither HIV nor diabetes). They filled out quality-of-life questionnaires, which included the Aging Male Symptoms Scale (AMS). The higher the score, the more severe a person's perceives their sexual function to be.

Of the three groups, HIV-positive men had the highest AMS scores. Half of them -- compared to 45 percent of HIV-negative diabetics and 28 percent of healthy controls -- complained of sexual dysfunction. No testosterone blood levels were measured, however, to see if this higher AMS score correlates to lower blood levels of testosterone. To answer the testosterone question, the Hypogonadism in Aging Males study is being performed in Germany presently.

This article was provided by TheBody.

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