, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 377-385

The effects of exercise training on quality of life in HAART-treated HIV-positive Rwandan subjects with body fat redistribution

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Abstract

Objective

Our objective was to examine the effects of exercise training (EXS) on quality of life (QoL) in highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)-treated HIV-positive (HIV+) subjects with body fat redistribution (BFR) in Rwanda.

Methods

The effects of a randomised controlled trial of EXS on QoL were measured using World Health Organisation Quality of Life (WHOQOL)-BREF in HIV+ subjects with BFR randomised to EXS (n = 50; BFR + EXS) or no exercise training (n = 50; BFR + noEXS).

Results

At 6 months, scores on the psychological [1.3 (0.3) vs. 0.5 (0.1); P < 0.0001], independence [0.6 (0.1) vs. 0.0 (0.0); P < 0.0001], social relationships [0.6 (0.2) vs. 0.0 (0.0); P < 0.0001] and HIV HAART-specific QoL domains [1.4 (0.2) vs. −0.1 (0.2); P < 0.0001] improved more in BFR + EXS than BFR + noEXS group, respectively. Self-esteem [1.3 (0.8) vs. 0.1 (0.6); P < 0.001], body image [1.5 (0.6) vs. 0.0 (0.5); P < 0.001] and emotional stress [1.6 (0.7) vs. 0.2 (0.5); P < 0.001] improved more in the BFR + EXS group than BFR + noEXS group, respectively. Psychological [1.5 (0.2) vs. 1.1 (0.3); P < 0.0001], social relationship [0.8 (0.2) vs. 0.4 (0.2); P < 0.0001], and HIV HAART-specific well-being [1.8 (0.2) vs. 1.0 (0.0); P < 0.0001] improved more in BFR + EXS female than male subjects.

Conclusions

Exercise training improved several components of QoL in HAART-treated HIV+ African subjects with BFR. Exercise training is an inexpensive and efficacious strategy for improving QoL in HIV+ African subjects, which may improve HAART adherence and treatment initiatives in resource-limited areas of sub-Saharan Africa.