Cardiopulmonary and CD4 cell changes in response to exercise training early symptomatic HIV infection

Frank M. Perna, Arthur Laperriere, Nancy Klimas, Gail Ironson, Arlette Perry, Jean Pavone, Alison Goldstein, Pat Majors, David Makemson, Craig Talutto, Neil Schneiderman, Mary Ann Fletcher, Onno G. Meijer, Lando Koppes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purposes of the present study were to assess the effects of a 12-wk laboratory based aerobic exercise program on cardiopulmonary function, CD4 cell count, and physician-assessed health status among symptomatic pre-AIDS HIV-infected individuals (N = 28) and to assess the degree to which ill health was associated with exercise relapse. Methods: Responses to graded exercise test, physician-assessed health status, and CD4 cell counts were determined at baseline and 12-wk follow-up for participants randomly assigned to exercise or control conditions, and reasons for exercise noncompliance were recorded. Results: Approximately 61% of exercise-assigned participants complied (> 50% attendance) with the exercise program, and analyses of exercise relapse data indicated that obesity and smoking status, but not exercise-associated illness, differentiated compliant from noncompliant exercisers. Compliant exercisers significantly improved peak oxygen consumption (V̇O(2peak); 12%), oxygen pulse (O(2pulse); 13%), tidal volume (TV; 8%), ventilation (V̇E; 17%), and leg power (25%) to a greater degree than control participants and noncompliant exercisers (all P < 0.05). Although no group differences in health status were found, a significant interaction effect indicated that noncompliant exercisers' CD4 cells declined (18%) significantly, whereas compliant exercisers' cell counts significantly increased (13%; P < 0.05). Conclusion: We conclude that although aerobic exercise can improve cardiopulmonary functioning in symptomatic HIV-infected individuals with minimal health risks, attention to factors associated with exercise adherence is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)973-979
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerobic Exercise
  • AIDS
  • Compliance
  • Immune System

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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