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Depression and Sexual Dysfunction Among HIV-Positive and HIV Negative Men Who Have Sex With Men: Mediation by Use of Antidepressants and Recreational Stimulants

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posted on 2024-04-04, 16:41 authored by Trevor HartTrevor Hart, Brian Mustanski, Daniel T. Ryan, Pamina M. Gorbach, Ronald D. Stall, Pamela J. Surkan, Michael Plankey

Erectile dysfunction (ED) and other forms of sexual dysfunction are highly prevalent among HIV+ men who have sex with men (MSM). Research has not previously identified the mechanisms by which depression may be associated with sexual dysfunction among HIV-positive and HIV-seronegative (HIV-negative) MSM. The present study examined the role of antidepressant use, stimulant use, and smoking as mediators of the relation between depression and sexual dysfunction among HIV-positive and HIV-negative MSM. Participants enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), an ongoing prospective study of the natural and treated histories of HIV infection among MSM in the United States, completed a modified version of the International Index of Erectile Function for MSM. The study sample included 1,363 participants, with 619 HIV-positive men and 744 HIV-negative men. A structural equation model examined depression as a predictor of subsequent sexual dysfunction, mediated by antidepressant use, stimulant use, and smoking. Depression predicted subsequent sexual function among both HIV-negative and HIV-positive MSM. This effect appeared to be both a direct effect and an indirect effect via antidepressant use. Findings suggest that antidepressant medication use may partially explain sexual dysfunction among MSM.

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