Articles

Desire for sex?

Less or no desire for sex
Having less or no desire for sex is very common for people with HIV, but also for those who do not have HIV. Only you can say whether or not you experience ‘having less of an appetite for sex’ as a problem. If someone’s sexual appetite is much less than normal, that could be due to depression, for example. Depression often goes together with chronic fatigue and less desire for sex, though a lower sex drive can also be unrelated to that. Although it is uncommon, another reason why some peopple have less desire for sex could be that they have too little testosterone. In that case, it can make sense for them to take testosterone in the form of capsules, gel or injections. That can sometimes make people much more energetic and bring back their sex drive.

 

Much less desire
In the past year I have had much less of desire for sex. That doesn’t actually bother me, but I do notice it. I don’t know if it’s because of my age, if it’s because of my HIV or if it’s a side effect of my HIV medicines.
Bart

No arousal due to anxiety about infecting the other person
If you are afraid of infecting the other person the entire time you are having sex, it’s logical that you will have trouble getting sexually aroused. I discuss that anxiety with the patient, and together we think of alternative thoughts. I ask: ‘How great is the chance that your partner will get HIV?’ The patient’s answer will be a low percentage. That helps put him or her at ease. Then I teach the patient a technique to help him or her focus on arousing things. We basically look at the facts: ‘What is actually going on?’ And then we go back to his or her experience of that. Afterwards the patient goes back home and puts it into practice there. The old ways of seeing things obviously don’t go away overnight, though. The new insights still have to land.
Eva Buitenhuis, psychologist and sexologist
 

 

 

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