Physical Therapy for Patients with HIV/AIDS

Anderson, Sonya L.
September 2006
Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal (American Physical Ther;Sep2006, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p103
Academic Journal
Purpose: As the number of patients with HIV/AIDS increases, the demand on the health care system will increase. This demand will place greater emphasis on maximizing the patient's independence, minimizing the disability, and increasing the patient's functional status so their quality of life may improve. Summary of Key Points: Patients are surviving longer than ever before with HIV/AIDS and with a potential for a cure, or at least drugs that slow the progression of this disease, physical therapy can play an important role in maximizing the patients' quality of life. This literature review is designed to provide the reader an overview of the pathophysiology of HIV, effects of exercise on the immune system, and the role of aerobic exercise in patients with HIV/AIDS and AIDS wasting syndrome. The role of progressive resistive exercise (PRE) in patients with HIV/AIDS, exercise prescription, and patient limitations to an exercise program will also be reviewed. Statement of Conclusion: Regular progressive resistive exercise and moderate aerobic exercise is safe and beneficial for the person with HIV infection during any stage of their illness. Through the use of exercise, the patient can play an important role in the management of their illness, while improving their quality of life.


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