Effect of antiretroviral drugs on the quality of semen

J Med Virol. 2011 Aug;83(8):1391-4. doi: 10.1002/jmv.22119.


The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine which antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) are associated with changes in the characteristics of semen and the impact of these ARVs according to their score penetration into the male genital compartment. Data from 144 men infected with HIV-1 enrolled in an Assisted Reproductive Technology program were analyzed retrospectively. A seminal penetration score of ARV was based on the available literature. The nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test and chi-square test were used. There was no difference on sperm parameters between NRTI, NNRTI, or PI regimen. In patients receiving NRTIs or PIs no differences were observed between antiretrovirals of these classes. However, in patients receiving NNRTIs, nevirapine (n = 22) was associated with a higher percentage of progressively motile spermatozoa (P < 0.0001) versus efavirenz (n = 38) as well as vitality (P = 0.0004). No relationship was observed between semen quality and the penetration score. NRTIs and PIs were not associated with any semen changes. Nevirapine was associated with a better quality of semen versus efavirenz. It would be of interest to validate, improve and test our penetration score in a prospective study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-HIV Agents / adverse effects*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1 / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Locomotion / drug effects
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Semen / drug effects*
  • Semen / physiology*
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects
  • Spermatozoa / physiology


  • Anti-HIV Agents