• Erectile Dysfunction;
  • HIV;
  • Questionnaires;
  • Homosexuality;
  • Male;
  • Validation Studies;
  • Sexual Function in HIV-Positive Gay Men


Introduction.  Erectile dysfunction is common in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM). A standardized scale is needed to assess erectile function in clinical practice and research studies.

Aim.  The International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) is a widely accepted tool for assessing erectile function designed for heterosexual men. We modified the tool for MSM. We present an analysis of internal consistency of the questionnaire in an HIV-positive cohort.

Methods.  The adapted questionnaire included modified questions within each of the five domains of the IIEF: (i) erectile function, (ii) intercourse satisfaction, (iii) orgasmic function, (iv) sexual desire, and (v) overall satisfaction with sex. MSM at seven European HIV treatment centers completed the questionnaire.

Main Outcome Measures.  Responses were analyzed for internal consistency using standardized Cronbach's alpha values within each of the five domains. A factor analysis was performed to confirm the domain structure of the questionnaire.

Results.  Data from 486 MSM were analyzed. The factor analysis supported the domain structure described. Questions about erectile function, orgasmic function, and sexual desire performed well, with Cronbach's alpha values of 0.82, 0.83, and 0.89, respectively. Questions concerning intercourse satisfaction were less consistent (Cronbach's alpha 0.55) because frequency of attempts at sexual intercourse did not correlate with other responses. Responses about satisfaction with sex with a regular partner diverged from satisfaction with overall sex life. Frequency of morning erections diverged from other aspects of erectile function, whereas erections with masturbation correlated better.

Conclusions.  Internal consistency was high overall. This tool is suitable for HIV-positive MSM and can be used in screening, research, and monitoring treatment response. Coyne K, Mandalia S, McCullough S, Catalan J, Noestlinger C, Colebunders R, and Asboe D. The international index of erectile function: Development of an adapted tool for use in HIV-positive men who have sex with men. J Sex Med 2010;7:769–774.