HIVers who are on a therapy regimen containing a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor instead of a protease inhibitor are less likely to report sexual side effects, according to a study in the December 15 edition of Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Earlier studies have shown that up to 70% of HAART recipients report sexual problems, with protease inhibitors being commonly linked with sexual side effects.
Study subjects were asked to rate their satisfaction with their sex lives on a scale from a low of 1 to a high of 100. Patients on NNRTI regimens or who switched from protease inhibitors to NNRTI drugs were the most likely to rate high levels of sexual satisfaction.
'The fact that NNRTIs have been associated with an improvement in sexual satisfaction may be an additional reason to offer an NNRTI-containing regimen as a first-line scheme of HAART,' the researchers concluded. They also recommended additional studies to see if such results led to better adherence to medication.