Female Sexual Dysfunction in Women Attending the Lentiviral Clinic at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria
Introduction: Sexual dysfunction in HIV positive women is common and it is often associated with psychosocial distress. Not much scientific attention has been focused on this important aspect of the life of the HIV-positive woman especially in Nigeria and in the West African sub-region at large, where issues pertaining to sexuality are hardly ever discussed due to cultural restrictions and taboos.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence, psychological status, and socio demographic/clinical factors associated with sexual dysfunction in HIV-positive women at the lentiviral clinic of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara State.
Methods: This was a hospital based cross-sectional study conducted over a six month period. Data were collected from 370 respondents using a structured questionnaire. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12) was used to assess their psychological status while the modified Female Sexual Function Index Questionnaire (FSFI) was used to assess female sexual dysfunction. Questionnaire was interviewer administered and the data was analyzed using Epi-info 2011 package.
Results: It showed that the prevalence of Sexual Dysfunction in HIV positive women was sixty one percent (61%). Thirty five percent (35%) of the respondents had significant psychological distress. The presence of psychological distress was significantly associated with Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD). There was no association between FSD and religion, ethnicity, duration of marriage or presence of other chronic diseases. Increasing age, multiple sex partners, non-disclosure of HIV status, stigma, on-going stressful event, being underweight or obese were significantly associated with FSD. High level of education, being married, monogamy, WHO clinical stage I disease and higher CD4 count were associated with better sexual functioning.
Conclusion: This study brings to the fore the need for physicians and healthcare workers who render comprehensive care as frontline doctors to acquire skills needed to attend to and alleviate the sexual problems of women in an African setting.
Keywords: Sexual dysfunction; HIV-positive; Women