Background: Exercise has been associated with improvements in adverse physiological and psychological effects of long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART) in people living with HIV (PLWH).
Aim: To summarize the findings on the effects of aerobic or resistance training alone or combined aerobic and resistance exercise training (CARET) on disease progression, fitness, physical functioning, mental health, and quality of life (QOL) in PLWH receiving ART. A systematic search of articles was performed in several databases, and 20 articles that met inclusion criteria were summarized.
Relevance for patients: Aerobic exercise was associated with improvements in aerobic capacity, QOL, and depressive symptoms, while resistance training improved strength. CARET was related to improved aerobic fitness, strength, physical functioning, QOL, and self-efficacy. At least one of the exercise interventions resulted in improvements in CD4+ cell count and HIV RNA viral load. Moreover, another study showed that HIV-specific biomarkers remained unchanged in the exercise intervention group, while they significantly worsened in the non-exercise group. In general, in spite of their well-known benefits, exercise programs have not been extensively utilized or widely recognized as viable therapeutic treatment options for this patient population. Knowing the possible health benefits of increasing physical activity level is important to better recommend exercise programs. However, the prescription must be done carefully and on an individual basis. Additional studies investigating the efficiency and effectiveness of different exercise training regimens for PLWH are needed.
1 Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136, United States
2 Department of Family Medicine, University of Miami, Miami Miller School of Medicine, FL 33136, United States
3 Department of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136, United States
John E. Lewis
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences University of Miami Miller School of Medicine 1120 NW 14th Street Suite #1474 Miami, FL 33136 United States
Tel: +1 305 243 6227
Rowan van Golen
Department of Experimental Surgery, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands