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Physical Activity: Do Patients Infected with HIV Practice? How Much? A Systematic Review

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Several studies have suggested that aerobic physical activity is safe and beneficial for HIV-infected adults. However, there is information lacking regarding whether HIV-infected patients practice physical activity and to what extent. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review was to determine the prevalence of physical activity, sedentary lifestyle or lack of physical activity in non-experimental conditions performed by HIV-infected subjects. The electronic search was conducted using Medline and EMBASE bibliographic databases and the platforms of Bireme, Ovid, Science Direct, High Wire and SCIELO from January 1990 to July 2011. Original observational studies were included. Of the 2,838 articles found, 48 met the inclusion criteria. Following data extraction and after reading the manuscripts, 24 were selected for systematic review. Of the 24 studies, most were cross-sectional studies. The average quality score using the modified Newcastle-Ottawa scale was 2.8±1.5. The diversity of methods used to assess physical activity precluded the calculated summary estimate of prevalence. The percentage of sedentary lifestyle was determined in 13 articles which conducted studies on HIV-infected individuals. The percentage of sedentary lifestyle or physical inactivity ranged from 19% to 73%, with the level determined by different methods. In conclusion, there are few well-designed studies with adequate sample size to represent the population of HIV-infected individuals. A pooled estimate could not be calculated due to the differences in physical activity measurements and definitions of physically active and non-active HIV-infected individuals.
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Keywords: AIDS; HIV; data; exercise; lifestyle; methods; motor activity; physical activity; sedentary; systematic review

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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  • Current HIV Research aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments of HIV research. We invite comprehensive review articles and novel, pioneering work in the basic and clinical fields on all areas of HIV research, including virus replication and gene expression, HIV assembly, virus-cell interaction, viral pathogenesis, epidemiology and transmission, anti-retroviral therapy and adherence, drug discovery, the latest developments in HIV/AIDS vaccines and animal models, mechanisms and interactions with AIDS related diseases, social and public health issues related to HIV disease, and prevention of viral infection. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews and original research written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on HIV research. Periodically, the journal will invite guest editors to devote an issue on a particular area of HIV research of great interest that increases our understanding of the virus and its complex interaction with the host.
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