Association of HIV status with sexual function in women aged 45-60 in England: results from two national surveys

Toorabally, N. et al. (2020) Association of HIV status with sexual function in women aged 45-60 in England: results from two national surveys. JAIDS: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 32(3), pp. 286-295. (doi: 10.1080/09540121.2019.1653436) (PMID:31411046) (PMCID:PMC7034538)

192578.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



Increasing numbers of women living with HIV are reaching their midlife. We explore the association of HIV status with sexual function (SF) in women aged 45–60 using two national cross-sectional surveys: the third British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (“Natsal-3”) and “PRIME”, a survey of women living with HIV attending HIV clinics across England. Both studies asked the same questions about SF that take account not only sexual difficulties but also the relationship context and overall level of satisfaction, which collectively allowed an overall SF score to be derived. We undertook analyses of sexually-active women aged 45–60 from Natsal-3 (N = 1228, presumed HIV-negative given the low estimated prevalence of HIV in Britain) and PRIME (N = 386 women living with HIV). Women living with HIV were compared to Natsal-3 participants using multivariable logistic regression (adjusting for key confounders identified a priori: ethnicity, ongoing relationship status, depression and number of chronic conditions) and propensity scoring. Relative to Natsal-3 participants, women living with HIV were more likely to: have low overall SF (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 3.75 [2.15–6.56]), report ≥1 sexual problem(s) lasting ≥3 months (AOR 2.44 [1.49–4.00]), and report almost all 8 sexual problems asked about (AORs all ≥2.30). The association between HIV status and low SF remained statistically significant when using propensity scoring (AOR 2.43 [1.68–3.51]). Among women living with HIV (only), low SF was more common in those who were postmenopausal vs. Premenopausal (55.6% vs. 40.4%). This study suggests a negative association between HIV status and sexual function in women aged 45–60. We recommend routine assessment of SF in women living with HIV.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The PRIME Study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in the form of a postdoctoral fellowship to ST [grant number PDF-2014-07-071]. Natsal-3 was supported by grants from the Medical Research Council [grant number G0701757] and the Wellcome Trust [grant number 084840], with contributions from the Economic and Social Research Council and Department of Health. Since September 2015, KM has been supported by the United Kingdom Medical Research Council [grant number MC_UU_12017/11], and Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office [grant number SPHSU11]. Since March 2018, ST has received salary support through a UCL/Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund Flexible Support Awards (grant number 204841/Z/16/Z).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Professor Kirstin
Authors: Toorabally, N., Mercer, C. H., Mitchell, K. R., Blell, M., Burns, F., Gilson, R., McGregor-Reed, J., Allan, S., De Ruiter, A., Dhairyawan, R., Fox, J., Gileece, Y., Jones, R., Mackie, N., Obeyesekera, S., Post, F., Reeves, I., Rosenvinge, M., Ross, J., Sarner, L., Sullivan, A., Tariq, A., Ustianowski, A., Sabin, C. A., and Tariq, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:JAIDS: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1944-7884
Published Online:14 August 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in JAIDS: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 32(3): 286-295
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU11
727631SPHSU Core Renewal: Relationships & Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLisa McDaidMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/11IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU