Effect of Aerobic Exercise on the Functional Capacity and Health Status of Individuals Living With HIV/AIDS in Kano, Nigeria

AISHAT SHITTU, Adebola Badirudeen, Saadatu Abubakar Maiwada, Jibril Mohammed


Background: The Human Immune-deficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and its associated complicationshas continued to be a major challenge to the health systems despite the use of alternative therapies. People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) are known to suffer from functional impairments and health status among several other comorbidities requiring intervention. This present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of aerobic exercise on functional capacity and QOL in PLWHA.

Methods: Thirty PLWHA(20 males; 10 females [35.3±7.98 years] from two tertiary hospitals in KanoState, Nigeria participated in this study. The participants were randomly assigned to either experimental or control groups. All participants were on their respective conventional anti-retroviral therapies (ART) medications. Those in experimental group received aerobic exercise training for 6 weeks in addition to the ARTs. The study focused on two outcomes; functional capacity and health status, whichwere measured prior to and after 6 weeks for each participant. Functional capacity was assessed using 6 minute walk distance (6MWD), while health status was determined using the short form (SF) 36 questionnaire separately for physical and mental component scores (PCS/MCS).  Descriptive statistics and inferential statistics were used analyze the results. Probability values was significant at 0.05 alpha level.

Results: The participants had a mean height, weight and body mass index (BMI) of1.64±0.07metres(m), 71.1±7 kilograms(kg) and 24.6±2.95kg/m2, respectively.The baseline parameters of physical characteristics (except for weight) and study outcomes between the experimental and control groups were comparable (p>0.05).The results also shows that aerobic exercises significantly increased the values for the 6MWD and the scores of PCS and MCS  (p<0.05).

Conclusion: It was concluded that aerobic exercise is beneficial forthe functional and health outcomes among PLWHA.

Key words: HIV/AIDS, Quality of Life, Functional Capacity


physiotherapy; exercise; HIV/AIDS; quality of life; functional capacity

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