Physical activity correlates in people living with HIV/AIDS: A systematic review of 45 studies


PURPOSE: Understanding barriers and facilitators of physical activity participation in persons living with HIV/AIDS is an essential first step in order to devise effective interventions. The present review provides a systematic quantitative review of the physical activity correlates in people with HIV/AIDS. METHODS: Major electronic databases were searched till August 2016. Keywords included “physical activity” or “exercise” or “sports” and “AIDS” or “HIV”. RESULTS: Out of 55 correlates from 45 studies (N = 13,167; mean age range = 30.5-58.3 years; 63.2% male) five consistent (i.e., reported in four or more studies) correlates were identified. Lower levels of physical activity were consistently associated with older age (6/10 studies), a lower educational level (6/7), a lower number of CD4 cells/mul (7/11), exposure to antiviral therapy (4/6), and the presence of lipodystrophy (4/4). Other important barriers were the presence of bodily pain (2/2), depression (3/3), and opportunistic infections (3/4). Facilitators were a higher cardiorespiratory fitness level (3/3), a higher self-efficacy (2/2), more perceived benefits (2/2), and a better health motivation (3/3). CONCLUSIONS: The current review has elucidated that participation in physical activity by people with HIV/AIDS is associated with a range of complex factors which should be considered in rehabilitation programs. Implications for Rehabilitation Health care professionals should consider HIV-related bodily pain and feelings of depression when assisting people living with HIV in inititiating and maintaining an active lifestyle. Interventions to improve self-efficacy and motivation, and to help people living with HIV in understanding the benefits of exercise, may encourage greater participation


Vancampfort D, Mugisha J, Richards J, De Hert M,Probst M, Stubbs B




  • Determinants of Health
    • Food security
    • Social support
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment
  • Mental Health
    • Depression


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