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HIV Infection Linked To Higher Risk Of Urinary Tract Symptoms In Men

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Published: Apr 22, 2011 3:31 pm
HIV Infection Linked To Higher Risk Of Urinary Tract Symptoms In Men

Results from a recent study indicate that HIV infection is associated with a higher risk of lower urinary tract symptoms in men, regardless of age and other risk factors. The chances of severe urinary tract problems are greatest in HIV-positive men with a history of AIDS.

The researchers noted that all study participants were self-identified men who have sex with men, and the findings may not be applicable to HIV-positive men who have sex with women only.

Based on their results, the researchers recommended that HIV-positive men who are at risk for urinary tract problems be screened and treated accordingly.

Urinary problems are common in aging men. Possible risk factors for lower urinary tract problems in HIV-positive men include chronic urinary tract infections, use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), opportunistic infections, and direct effects of HIV on the nervous system.

Although evidence suggests HIV is linked with lower urinary tract symptoms and bladder function problems, previous studies have been small and took place before the advent of HAART.

In this study, researchers attempted to determine whether HIV is associated with increased risk of self-reported urinary tract problems in men. The study included 1,830 men who have sex with men. Of these, 323 (17.6 percent) were HIV positive. All participants were 30 years of age or older.

Participants filled in an Internet-based survey on lower urinary tract symptoms, such as intermittent urination, having a weak stream, straining, and incomplete emptying, known as voiding symptoms; as well as frequency, urgency, and the need to get up in the night to urinate, referred to as storage symptoms.

Results showed that more HIV-positive men had moderate or severe lower urinary tract symptoms (33.2 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively) compared to HIV-negative men (29.2 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively).

Further analysis showed that men with HIV were twice as likely to report severe urinary tract symptoms as men without HIV, even after accounting for other risk factors. HIV-positive men with a history of AIDS-defining illness or CD4 (white blood cell) counts less than 200 cells per microliter were 2.5 times more likely to report severe urinary tract symptoms.

Men with a history of AIDS-defining illness or low CD4 counts also had an increased risk of moderate and severe lower urinary tract symptoms than HIV-positive men with no history of AIDS-related illnesses.

HIV-positive participants were more likely to have coronary artery disease, high cholesterol or triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, and history of chlamydia, gonorrhea, urinary tract infections, and depression compared to HIV-negative men.

Risk factors for moderate urinary tract symptoms included older age, depression, diabetes, and history of urinary tract infections, prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland), or gonorrhea. Risk factors for severe symptoms included older age, depression, and high cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

The researchers suggested that future studies investigate the relationship between HAART and lower urinary tract symptoms in men with HIV.

For more information, please see the study in the Journal of Urology (abstract).

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2 Comments »

  • deepa said:

    Thanks for the awesome post. I liked it a lot. Great work, keep it up.

  • Gary said:

    Thanks for your excellent vital invaluable information article provided here!!! …albeit however disappointing for us older 66yo HIV patients suffering with constant recurring urinary tract and prostate infections, recurring exhausting fatigue depression flu-like symptoms resembling hiv-breaking-through symptoms when medications are failing in addition to worsening abdomenal obesity. Nevertheless thanks again!!!