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Does fitness&sauna affect the immune system?

Oct 6, 2007

Hello Dr. Holodniy,

First of all, my compliments for all team members for this great site with an overwhelming amount of useful information.

My question: How does intensive fitness (cardio & muscle training) about 5x a week for 3 hours) with sauna visits affect the immune system?

We are a couple from Germany, my partner is on HAART since years (kaletra, kivexa, viread), undetectable VL and 500 CD4+, and I was found positive only in July, VL=31000, CD4+=620. I go to the gym+sauna a lot, while my partner would like to go, but is reluctant to, since he fears the sauna and the effect on circulation might somehow increase his viral load, and he fears gym activities may have a damaging effect on his health. May I ask what your opinion is regarding this?

Thanks very much, have a nice day!

Kind regards,

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I don't think there is any real data to answer this question, although I think it unlikely in someone on HAART that a sauna would affect viral load. I think the only contraindication would be is if there were underlying heart disease or some other serious medical condition (other than HIV) that would preclude using a sauna.

tested positive
HIV and CD4 count

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