(HealthDay News) – HIV infection in men is a strong, independent predictor of erectile dysfunction (ED), regardless of age and body mass index (BMI).

Stefano Zona, MD, of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy, and associates compared the prevalence of ED among young to middle-aged HIV-infected (444) and HIV-uninfected (71) men. ED was assessed using the International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire. Participants’ serum testosterone; demographic characteristics; and their age, weight, height, and BMI were obtained.

The researchers found that, compared with HIV-uninfected men, HIV-infected men of all decades of age had a higher prevalence of mild, moderate, and severe ED. HIV infection correlated significantly with ED in univariate analysis (odds ratio, 34.19) and remained the strongest predictor of ED in multivariate analysis (odds ratio, 42.26), after adjustment for age and BMI.

“This study shows an increased ED prevalence in HIV-infected individuals and suggests that this condition is intrinsic in the clinical presentation of HIV infection,” the authors write. “The onset of ED seems to occur earlier in HIV-infected men than in HIV-uninfected men, an aspect of clinical relevance when managing these patients.”

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