Physical activity and exercise for older people living with HIV: A scoping review


INTRODUCTION: Improvements in physical, mental, and overall quality of life are well documented in younger HIV populations who exercise. Exercise guidelines exist for younger HIV populations, but none for older people living with HIV (OPLWH), especially 50 years of age and older. Our aim was to map the existing literature on the effects of exercise and physical activity prescriptions for OPLWH. METHODS: We conducted a scoping review using the methodological framework proposed by the Joanna Briggs Institute. Online searches on five research databases yielded 503 published articles. Fifteen studies met the study’s inclusion criteria. RESULTS: The most commonly used parameters of exercise included aerobic and strength training, as well as a combination of both. The physical, psychological and Quality of Life (QoL) impact of physical activity and its effect on OPLWH is evidently beneficial. Overall, a positive correlation between exercise and physical, mental and functional status was observed. No adverse side effects, or safety and efficacy concerns, during the use of exercise were reported. CONCLUSION: This review confirms the dearth of evidence on physical activity and exercise in the context of OPLWH. Of greater concern is the fact that there were no studies conducted in sub-Saharan Africa, the global region with by far the highest HIV burden.


Chetty L, Cobbing S, Chetty V




  • Population(s)
    • Older adults (>50 years)
    • General HIV+ population


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