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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2011 Aug;57 Suppl 3:S179-85. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e31821e9bca.

A randomized, clinical trial to evaluate the impact of regular physical activity on the quality of life, body morphology and metabolic parameters of patients with AIDS in Salvador, Brazil.

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From the Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.


Patients with AIDS under antiretroviral therapy often present with metabolic problems associated with HIV infection and its therapy, which can affect their quality of life. The knowledge on the potential benefits of regular physical exercises for HIV-infected patients is limited.


We conducted a clinical trial to evaluate the impact of regular physical activity on quality of life, anatomic disturbances, and/or metabolic changes in patients with AIDS in the city of Salvador, Brazil.


Patients were randomly assigned in monthly workshops (1-hour duration) to discuss the importance of physical activity and receive nutritional counseling (control group) or to receive a 1-hour supervised gym class three times a week plus monthly nutritional counseling (intervention group). Before and after intervention, body composition, maximum oxygen consumption, metabolic equivalent, blood count, fasting total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, glucose, HIV viral load and CD4/CD8 counts, and resting heart rate were measured. Quality of life was evaluated at baseline and after 24 weeks.


The domains of quality of life, general health, vitality and mental health increased in the exercise group (P < 0.05) compared with the control group. In the exercise group, fat mass (P = 0.04), the resting heart rate (P = 0.001), waist circumference (P = 0.002), and glucose (P = 0.003) decreased. Muscle mass (P = 0.002), CD4 T cells (P = 0.002), metabolic equivalent (P = 0.014), and maximum oxygen consumption (P = 0.05) increased.


The practice of regular exercise, coupled with nutritional guidance, in individuals with HIV/AIDS significantly improves the quality of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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