Review Article

Hiv-associated lipodystrophy and exercise

E. Mutimura, A. Stewart, N. J. Crowther
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 62, No 2 | a240 | DOI: | © 2006 E. Mutimura, A. Stewart, N. J. Crowther | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 February 2006 | Published: 18 February 2006

About the author(s)

E. Mutimura, Kigali Health Institute, Department of Physiotherapy, Rwanda
A. Stewart, The University of the Witwatersrand, Department of Physiotherapy, South Africa
N. J. Crowther, The University of the Witwatersrand, Department of Chemical Pathology, South Africa

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As individuals affected by HIV/AIDS live longer due to the availability of HAART, the challenge to health care professionals is to manage and alleviate abnormalities associated with HAART. HIVlipodystrophy- altered body fat redistribution- is the most common stigmatising physical abnormality related to the use of HAART, which maybe alleviated by exercise participation. Currently, there is no reliable management standard care for HIV-associated lipodystrophy. However, there is sufficient evidence to support the benefits of exercise in adults with HIV infection. As various types of ARTs become available in the most HIV/AIDS stricken developing countries, there are inadequate studies to evaluate and promote exercise in alleviating HIV lipodystrophy and other related complications. The current paper reviews HIV-related lipodystrophy, related metabolic dysfunction, and the role of exercise in its management. The paper highlights the need to evaluate the effectiveness of exercise on HIV lipodystrophy syndrome. An emphasis needs to be put on raising awareness among health care professionals in Sub-Saharan Africa where the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is the  highest in the world.


exercise; haart; hiv; lipodystrophy; metabolic function


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