Sexual Dysfunction among HIV Patients: Three Case Reports and Review of Literature

Valentino M. Lema


Global efforts in addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic have focused on preventing new infections, reduction of viral loads through treatment and care and support for the patients. Hardly any attention has been given to their quality of life in particular sexual health and functioning. There is a growing body of literature indicating high prevalence of sexual problems amongst HIVinfected individuals, whose mechanisms remain unclear. This may affect individuals’ quality of life, interpersonal relationships and HIV treatment. The sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region is the epicentre of the HIV epidemic, majority of the patients being young (< 30 years old) and in long-term heterosexual relationships. With increased life expectancy due to expanded access to HAART, the prevalence and potential impact of sexual dysfunction are certain to be significant. There is urgent need for appropriate research on sexual experiences and functioning amongst HIV patients in SSA and appropriate interventions to address them. Current efforts to link HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and proposals to make SRH services integrated and comprehensive provide are a good starting point. However SRHR policies, strategic plans and programmes should be reviewed to ensure inclusion of sexual health. Afr J Reprod Health 2013 (Special Edition); 17[4]: 161170).


Keywords: HIV-AIDS, Sexual Dysfunction, 




Les efforts mondiaux dans la lutte contre l'épidémie de VIH/SIDA ont mis l'accent sur la prévention des nouvelles infections, la réduction de la charge virale par le traitement,  les soins et le soutien des patients. Pratiquement aucune attention n'a été accordée à leur qualité de vie, surtout la santé sexuelle et le fonctionnement. Il y a un nombre croissant de documentation  indiquant une forte prévalence des problèmes sexuels entre les individus infectés par le VIH, dont les mécanismes restent peu clairs. Ceci  peut affecter la qualité de vie des individus, les relations interpersonnelles et le traitement du VIH. La région de l'Afrique subsaharienne (ASS) est l'épicentre de l'épidémie de VIH, la majorité des patients étant jeunes (< 30 ans) et dans les relations hétérosexuelles à long terme. Avec l'augmentation de l'espérance de vie à  cause d’un accès élargi aux TARTHA, la prévalence et l'impact potentiel de la dysfonction sexuelle sont certains d’être importantes. Il y a un besoin urgent d’une recherche appropriée sur les expériences sexuelles et le fonctionnement chez les patients séropositifs en Afrique subsaharienne et des interventions appropriées pour y remédier. Les efforts actuels pour relier le VIH/SIDA et la santé sexuelle et de la reproduction  et les droits (SSRD) et des propositions pour rendre les services de santé sexuelle et de la reproduction SSR intégrée et globale représentent un bon point de départ. Cependant, les politiques de SSRD,  les plans stratégiques et les programmes doivent être revus pour assurer l'intégration de la santé sexuelle. Afr J Reprod Health 2013 (Edition Spéciale); 17[4]: 161-170).


Mots clés: VIH/SIDA, dysfonction sexuelle

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