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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1992 Jan;24(1):6-12.

Effects of exercise training on men seropositive for the human immunodeficiency virus-1.

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  • 1Department of Kinesiology, University of North Texas, Denton 76203.


We examined the effects of chronic exercise on fitness and immune status in Caucasian males (34.9 +/- 5.6 yr) diagnosed by Western blot as seropositive for the HIV-1 virus. The exercise regimen involved 12 wk of 1 h sessions 3 d.wk: 20 min of cycle exercise at 60-80% HRreserve was followed by 35 min of strength and flexibility training. After matching subjects on health status (modified Walter Reed criteria), subjects (N = 37) were randomly assigned to exercise or a counseling control condition. Changes in strength, responses to the YMCA cycle test, and serum lymphocytes were tested by MANOVA in a condition (exercise or counseling)-by-time (pretest, posttest) design with repeated measures on time. Results indicated significant (P less than 0.001) group-by-time interactions for strength (N.m) (chest press and leg extension) and for HR (beats.min-1) and total time (TT) on the cycle test at 150 W. Strength and TT increased and HR decreased in the exercise condition, while control subjects did not change. Total leukocyte, lymphocyte, CD4+, and CD8+ cell counts, and the CD4+/CD8+ ratio were statistically unchanged for each condition. We conclude that HIV-1+ men, including those symptomatic for AIDS-related complex, can experience significant increases in neuromuscular strength and cardiorespiratory fitness without changes in lymphocyte phenotypes or clinical diagnosis when the exercise regimen is prescribed and monitored in accordance with ACSM guidelines for healthy adults.

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