HIV AND EXERCISE
Copyright 1996 by David J. DeRose, MD, MPH


Can exercise benefit a person who is HIV positive? I'm Dr. David DeRose, and we'll find out in a moment on WellnessWise.

Moderate exercise improves immune function. However, there is evidence that athletes undergoing rigorous training actually weaken their white blood cell function. Affected cells include the all-important T-lymphocytes. Because of this, researchers have been interested to understand how exercise affects HIV positive individuals.

A 1990 study found that HIV positive men experienced improved immune function after 10 weeks of aerobic exercise. The exercisers were better able to fight off latent viral infections. And their immune enhancing helper T cells increased.

Other studies of HIV-positive individuals including those with AIDs have shown similar encouraging results, with no harmful effects, after participating in moderate amounts of supervised exercise.

Although it seems wise for all individuals with AIDS or HIV to exercise regularly, a medical evaluation before starting an exercise program is wise. It helps to prevent aggravating any unrecognized physical problems.

Furthermore HIV positive individuals should be cautious about overtraining. Especially if a person has AIDS, it seems wise to avoid exhaustive, competitive or other strenuous exercise.

For WellnessWise, I'm Dr. David DeRose.

Ref.- AIDS and the athlete: Does competition carry a risk? Janis E. Blair, M.D. Family Practice Recertification May 1994, Vol. 16, No. 5.
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This article is reproduced from The WellnessWise Electronic Journal, copyright David J. DeRose, MD, MPH.

Back issues of WEJ are available at several sites in cyberspace. Some of the
more popular sites are as follows:

(1) http://fermi.jhuapl.edu/wej/
(2) http://www.glasscity.net/~tolsda/wej/
(3) http://www.tagnet.org/InfoCenter
(4) http://www.social.com/health/news.html

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Send all correspondence to:

David J. DeRose, MD, MPH

E-mail addresses: docderose@aol.com or 74532.622@compuserve.com


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