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The importance of exercise and sleep?
Aug 25, 1999

Hello. My boyfriend has now been hiv+ a little over a year. He is doing conciderably well now. I was wondering if adding exrcise (such as gym) and sleeping more could help keep it that way, and if much do they have got to do with it? In other words...what is the importance of exercise and rest with hiv+ people? Also, does age have anything to do with remaining healthy longer when hiv poz? He is 38. Thank you so much.

Response from Dr. Remien

There is no definitive answer to your question. Some studies have shown that exercise, sleep, and nutrition are associated with good health for people living with HIV and other studies have not seen that effect. However no study has ever shown these things to be "bad" for people living with HIV. So it certainly can't hurt. And even if exercise and sleep do not directly effect the course of HIV they can certainly contribute to overall good health and well-being.

Regarding age and HIV illness progression, some studies have shown older people to sometimes have more rapid illness progression. This is likely to have something to do with general health and immune functioning which shows some decline with age. At age 38 there is no real reason to expect any specific effect of age on illness progression. However, I am not an expert on this topic. Your boyfriend should ask his doctor what he or she thinks.

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