The impact of dolutegravir-based combination antiretroviral therapy on the spermatozoa and fertility parameters of men living with human immunodeficiency virus
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The factors responsible for this reported fertility decline among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive men is yet to be determined. This study is aimed at investigating the impact of HIV or combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) on sperm cells, reproductive hormones, oxidative stress markers, apoptosis, and sperm DNA fragmentation of men living with HIV. Twenty-one men living with HIV gave their written informed consent to participate in this study. Only 11 of the participants successfully donated blood and semen before and after 3 months of their treatment with cART. Semen, reproductive hormones, oxidative stress biomarkers, and DNA fragmentation were analysed. Data were subjected to Wilcoxon matched pairs signed rank test (ethical approval: CMUL/HREC/09/19/614). There was a significant decrease in viral load of HIV (p < 0.01), and a marked increase in progressive and total sperm motility. Total sperm count, morphology, and vitality had no significant change after 3 months of treatment with cART however, there was a significant increase (p < 0.05) in testosterone from 2.48 to 3.68 ng/ml, but luteinizing hormone decreased significantly (p < 0.05) from 9.6 to 6.5 mIU/ml. In addition, sperm DNA fragmentation increased significantly (p < 0.01). Conversely, viral load, and catalase decreased significantly, but no significant difference in malondialdehyde. This study showed that HIV depleted testosterone and impaired sperm motility which may negatively affect the fertility potential of men living with HIV. It also showed that adherence to cART (a combination of tenofovir, lamivudine, and dolutegravir) reduces the viral load and reverses the deleterious effects of cART albeit, cART appears to be toxic at subcellular spermatogenic levels.
Akang, E. N., Dosumu, O. O., Ogbenna, A. A., Akpan, U. U., Ezeukwu, J. C., Odofin, M. O., et al. (2022). The impact of dolutegravir-based combination antiretroviral therapy on the spermatozoa and fertility parameters of men living with human immunodeficiency virus. Andrologia, e14621