Young and middle-aged men on successful antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for HIV may have elevated rates of low testosterone, according to a recent study of French men, aidsmap reports.

Publishing their findings in the journal AIDS, researchers designed a prospective cross-sectional study of 113 HIV-positive French men younger than 50 who were taking ARVs and had an undetectable viral load.

A total of 12.4 percent of the men had low testosterone, meaning their free testosterone was below 70 picograms per milliliter of blood.

Looking at lumbar T-scores for an indication of bone loss among the men, the researchers found that 42 percent of them had osteopenia (some bone loss) and 11 percent had osteoporosis (advanced bone loss). According to the femoral T-score, 58 percent of the men had osteopenia and 22 percent had osteoporosis.

After controlling the data for various factors, the researchers found that being on ARVs for more than five years was associated with an 8.54-fold increased risk of low testosterone compared with being on HIV treatment for less than five years. Having a body-fat percentage greater than 19 percent was associated with a 6.41-fold increased risk of low testosterone compared with having a body-fat percentage below that threshold. Taking an integrase inhibitor was associated with a 17.03-fold increased risk of low testosterone compared with taking an ARV regimen that did not include that class of drug.

To read the aidsmap article, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.