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Illness Stage, Concurrent Medications, and Other Correlates of Low Testosterone in Men with HIV Illness

Wagner Glenn; Rabkin, Judith G.; Rabkin, Richard
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: February 1995

Our objective was to assess whether illness stage, markers of illness progression, and use of medications believed to lower testosterone are associated with low serum testosterone in HIV+ men. Data were available for 234 HIV+ men screened for eligibility for a study of testosterone replacement therapy and/or an antidepressant trial. A screening interview was used to elicit demographic and medical information. Blood was drawn to measure markers of immunodeficiency and serum testosterone. Thirty-eight percent of the sample had testosterone levels below the normal range. Low testosterone was associated with lower CD4 cell count, later stage of illness, use of megestrol, and older age. Regression analysis showed that only age and use of such medications as megestrol were significant predictors of low testosterone. Given the prevalence of low testosterone in HIV+ men and its link to sexual dysfunction, more research is needed on treatments aimed at correcting or compensating for this hormonal deficiency as well as the study of the impact of such medications as megestrol on testosterone levels in older men.

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