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Do ARV's reduce sex drive?

Sep 16, 2012

My husband & I are both HIV positive & have been taking ARV'S him for 6 years (staduvidine, lamovidine & nevirapine) & me for 4 years now. For the last couple of years he doesn't seem to want to have sex - he says he is always tired & he's never in the mood for it. Are the tablets to blame?

Response from Dr. Wohl

There are many reasons for reduced sex drive. In persons with HIV, medications can cause fatigue and that could reduce desire for sex. In addition, HIV can lead to low levels of testosterone, a hormone that is important for sexual function.

I would not blame the HIV meds primarily but he should discuss this issue with his doctor. If there are alternative medications available, it may be worth a try. In many parts of the world stavudine is used infrequently, due to its other side effects. However, in many places it remains a mainstay of HIV treatment due to its low cost.


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