Background: Most studies of hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) function in illicit drug users either focus on men or do not consider the impact of HIV. Objective: This study investigated the relationships between cocaine and/or opiate use, HIV status, and HPG function in both men and women. Methods: Men and women between 18 and 50 years of age were stratified by sex, drug use, and HIV status. Information on demographics, HIV disease and treatment, and illicit drug use patterns was collected. To determine potential effects on HPG function, free testosterone (free T), estradiol, and gonadotropin concentrations were measured. Results: In a total of 197 men and women, free T concentrations were lower in men who used cocaine and/or opiates and in women infected with HIV Gonadotropin concentrations were elevated in seropositive men only. In women who received highly active antiretroviral therapy, HIV infection and illicit drug use had an additive or synergistic impact on free T concentrations. Conclusions: Our data reveal the importance of considering the independent effects of illicit drug use and HIV status for both men and women, so that risks may be identified and potential treatments designed for HPG dysfunction in these groups.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies