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Keywords:

  • Erectile Dysfunction;
  • HIV;
  • Endothelial Dysfunction;
  • Body Image;
  • Antiretroviral Therapy

ABSTRACT

Introduction.  The penis has been compared to a barometer of endothelial health, erectile dysfunction (ED) being an early sign of endothelial dysfunction.

Aim.  The aim of the study was to investigate the extent of the association between ED and endothelial dysfunction in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection on antiretroviral therapy.

Methods.  In this observational cross-sectional study, we evaluated the prevalence and factors associated with ED in a cohort of 133 HIV-infected men.

Main Outcome Measures.  The International Index of Erectile Function, ultrasound assessment of brachial artery flow mediated dilatation (FMD), and multi-slice computed tomography for coronary artery calcifications (CAC) as surrogates of endothelial dysfunction, the Adult Treatment Panel III criteria to diagnose metabolic syndrome (MS), plasma total testosterone (hypogonadism), and a visual analogue scale (VAS) of aesthetic satisfaction of the face and of the body (psychological distress associated with lipodystrophy).

Results.  Thirty-nine (29.32%) patients had mild ED, 14 (10.52%) patients had moderate ED, and 26 (19.55%) patients had severe ED. Prevalence of ED ranged from 45% to 65%, respectively, in patients less than 40 and more than 60 years old. MS was present in 20 (25%) patients with ED and 13 (24%) patients without ED (P value = 0.87). Prevalence of ED neither appeared to be associated with MS as a single clinical pathological entity nor with the numbers of its diagnostic components. FMD < 7% was present in 25 (32%) patients with ED and 18 (33%) patients without ED (P value = 0.83), and CAC > 100 was present in 8 (10%) patients with ED and 5 (9%) patients without ED (P value = 0.87). A stepwise multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to find predictors of ED. Independent predictors were VAS face (odds ratio [OR] = 0.85, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.73–0.99, P = 0.049) and age per 10 years of increase (OR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.02–2.94, P = 0.04).

Conclusions.  Age constituted the most important risk factor for ED, which was related to aesthetic dissatisfaction of the face leading to negative body image perception. Guaraldi G, Beggi M, Zona S, Luzi K, Orlando G, Carli F, Ligabue G, Rochira V, Rossi R, Modena MG, and Bouloux P. Erectile dysfunction is not a mirror of endothelial dysfunction in HIV-infected patients. J Sex Med 12;9:1114–1121.