Effects of a 2-Year Supervised Exercise Program Upon the Body Composition and Muscular Performance of HIV-Infected Patients

Lorena da Silva Paes 1, Juliana Pereira Borges 1, Fernanda Monteiro dos Santos 1, Taciana Pinto de Oliveira 1, Jaciara Gomes Dupin 1, Elizabeth Assumpção Harris 1, Paulo Farinatti*, 1, 2
1 Laboratory of Physical Activity and Health Promotion, Institute of Physical Education and Sports, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2 Graduate Program in Physical Activity Sciences, Salgado de Oliveira University, Niteroi, RJ, Brazil

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© da Silva Paes et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Laboratory of Physical Activity and Health Promotion (LABSAU), Rua São Francisco Xavier, 524, sala 8133 F, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, CEP 20550-013, Brazil; Tel: (+55-21) 2334-0775; Fax: (+55-21) 2334-0002; E-mail:


Background :

There is a lack of research investigating long-term effects of exercise training upon the body composition and muscle function in HIV-infected patients (PHIV). The study investigated the influence of a 2-year supervised exercise program on body composition and strength of PHIV under highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).

Methods :

A training program including aerobic, strength and flexibility exercises was performed by 27 PHIV (17 men/ 10 women; age: 48.7±7.0 years; HAART: 150.7±65.3 months) during 1 year and 18 PHIV (10 men/ 8 women; age: 50.6±5.2 years; HAART: 176.6±53.1 months) during 2 years. Body composition and knee isokinetic strength were assessed at baseline and at the end of each year of intervention.

Results :

Body composition remained stable along the whole experiment vs baseline (1-year - total muscle mass: Δ men=1.1%, P=0.21; Δ women=1.4%, P=0.06; trunk fat: Δ men=-0.1%, P=0.65; Δ women=-1.5%, P=0.45; 2 years - total muscle mass: Δ men=2.7%, P=0.54; Δ women=-1.9%, P=0.71; trunk fat: Δ men=4.4%, P=0.96; Δ women=10.0%, P=0.30). After 1-year, peak torque increased in men (Δ extension=4.2%, P=0.01; Δ flexion=12.2%, P=0.04) and total work reduced in women (Δ extension=-15.4%, P=0.01, Δ flexion=-17.5%, P=0.05). All strength markers remained stable vs baseline after 2 years of intervention (P>0.05). Only men showed significant reduction in the risk of disability due to sarcopenia (P=0.05) after 1 year of intervention, which remained stable after 2 years.

Conclusion :

Long-term exercise training preserved strength and muscle mass in PHIV under HAART. Exercise programs should be part of HIV therapy to prevent sarcopenia of this population along the years.

Trial Registration :

ACTRN12610000683033; UTN U1111-1116-4416.

Keywords: AIDS, fitness, HAART, health, muscle mass, physical activity, strength.