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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

Exercise and HIV Infection


Advocate (05/30/95) No. 682, P. 49

Increasingly, studies of HIV-infected people indicate that regular physical exercise offers significant health benefits. Scientists have found that a lean body mass is strongly correlated with survival in people with AIDS. Indeed, the timing of death in AIDS patients has been found to be directly related to the amount of lean body weight loss--independent of T-cell levels or specific opportunistic infections. To date, most efforts to halt the wasting process have concentrated on treating underlying gastrointestinal disorders, stimulating the appetite with drugs, and providing extra calories. While these treatments do increase body weight, the gain is mostly fat and water. Common sense and current research, however, support the theory that one must perform some sort of physical activity to convert these calories and hormones into lean body mass. Exercise can also help HIV-infected people maintain or improve their ability to perform daily activities, increase energy, improve appetite, and elevate mood. Most experts agree that people at risk for HIV-related wasting syndrome should focus on resistance training, and avoid burning too many calories.


Copyright © 1995 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in June 8, 1995. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.