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African Journal of Reproductive Health

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

VM Lema

Abstract


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 HIV-infected 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]: 161-170).


Keywords: HIV-AIDS, Sexual Dysfunction,




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