Moderate and high intensity exercise training in HIV-1 seropositive individuals: a randomized trial

Int J Sports Med. 1999 Feb;20(2):142-6. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-971108.


HIV-infected individuals are frequently active, but guidelines for exercise in this population lack scientific support, since studies on the effects of exercise training on immunologic variables of HIV-1 positive individuals have shown conflicting results. Exercise capacity, immunologic markers (CD4, CD8 and CD4:CD8 ratio), anthropometric measurements, and depression scores were evaluated to compare the effects of two intensities of aerobic exercise on HIV-1 seropositive individuals. Twenty-one healthy subjects (14 men, 7 women), carriers of the HIV-1 virus (CD4>200 cells x mm(-3)), and inactive for at least 6 months, completed a 12 week exercise training program (36 sessions of 1 h, 3 times per week), in a moderate intensity group (60+/-4% of maximal heart rate) or a high intensity group (84+/-4% of maximal heart rate). Exercise capacity estimated by treadmill time was increased significantly in both moderate intensity (680+/-81 s before; 750+/-151 s after) and high intensity (651+/-122 s before; 841+/-158 s after) groups, but the high intensity group presented a significantly larger increment (p<0.01). There were no significant changes in the immunologic variables, anthropometric measurements or depression scores. Thus, HIV-seropositive individuals that participate in moderate and high intensity exercise programs are able to increase their functional capacity without any detectable changes in immunologic variables, anthropometric measurements or depression scores.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • CD4-CD8 Ratio
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / immunology*
  • HIV-1*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male