Study: Viagra use, recreational drugs, HIV infection linked

BY Advocate.com Editors

June 14 2003 12:00 AM ET

A study in the June 1 edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes shows that gay men who report recently using the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra also were more likely to be HIV-positive, to have had unprotected anal sex with partners of unknown HIV status, and to use recreational drugs, AIDSmap.com reports. The study, based on a survey conducted in San Francisco, found that gay men often use Viagra to combat the side effects of party drugs, particularly crystal methamphetamine, that result in a temporary inability to achieve an erection. The researchers also found that recent rises in HIV and other sexually transmitted disease infection rates among gay men coincided with the approval of Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction, suggesting a link between the drug and unprotected sex.

Other studies have shown that gay men attending circuit party events who use Viagra were four times more likely to engage in unprotected anal sex than attendees who do not take Viagra and that Viagra users are significantly more likely to have more sexual partners than those who don't use the medication.

The researchers suggest that gay health groups and HIV/AIDS service organizations should better warn men who have sex with men about the risks of having unprotected sex while using Viagra. They also say that HIV-positive people taking Viagra should be warned to take half the standard single dose of 50 milligrams and to not take more than a total of 50 milligrams of the drug during a 48-hour period because Viagra can affect the levels of HIV antiretroviral drugs in the bloodstream. Viagra also should never be used by HIV-positive people taking Norvir.

Tags: Health

AddThis

READER COMMENTS ()

Quantcast