Quality of Life Research

, 17:377 | Cite as

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

  • Eugene MutimuraEmail author
  • Aimee Stewart
  • Nigel J. Crowther
  • Kevin E. Yarasheski
  • W. Todd Cade



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.


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).


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.


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.


Africa HAART Lipodystrophy Rwanda 



We thank the participants in the study for their valuable time and commitment. We acknowledge the support of Kigali Health Institute administration; research associates, particularly David Tumusiime; and the hospital administrative staff from where the subjects were recruited. We thank the Commission Nationale de Lutte Contre le SIDA (CNLS) and Multi-Sectorial AIDS Program (MAP), Rwanda for funding this study. This work was part of the requirements approved by University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, for the award of the degree of doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) to Eugene Mutimura. KEY was supported by NIH grants DK49393, DK59531, AT03083, DK56341, and RR00954. WTC was supported by NIH grant KDK074343A.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene Mutimura
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aimee Stewart
    • 2
  • Nigel J. Crowther
    • 3
  • Kevin E. Yarasheski
    • 4
  • W. Todd Cade
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of Allied Health SciencesKigali Health InstituteKigaliRwanda
  2. 2.School of Therapeutic SciencesUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Chemical Pathology, National Health Laboratory ServiceUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  4. 4.Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Lipid Research, Department of Internal MedicineWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA
  5. 5.Program in Physical TherapyWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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