Effects of progressive resistive exercise in adults living with HIV/AIDS: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials

AIDS Care. 2008 Jul;20(6):631-53. doi: 10.1080/09540120701661708.


This systematic review examined the effectiveness and safety of progressive resistive exercise (PRE) interventions on immunological/virological, cardiopulmonary, weight, and body composition, strength and psychological outcomes in adults living with HIV. Using Cochrane Collaboration protocol, we included randomized controlled trials from 1980-2006 comparing PRE interventions with no PRE or another intervention. Ten studies met inclusion criteria. Seventeen meta-analyses were performed. Results indicated that PRE or a combination of PRE and aerobic exercise may lead to statistically significant increases in weight (WMD: 2.68 kg; 95%CI: 0.40, 4.97) and arm and thigh girth (WMD: 7.91 cm; 95%CI: 2.18, 13.65) among exercisers versus non-exercisers. Trends toward improvement in submaximum heart rate and exercise time also were found. Individual studies suggested that PRE contributed to improved strength and psychological status. Findings are limited to participants who continued to exercise. Progressive resistive exercise appears to be safe and may be beneficial for medically-stable adults living with HIV.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • HIV Infections / rehabilitation*
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Fitness / psychology
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic