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Background: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection worsens the well-being of individuals making them vulnerable and compromises their quality of life. Auxiliary to this, considerable stigma and social rejection is associated with HIV infection which also contributes to their anxiety and depression. Research has established the beneficial effects of exercise and yoga on the physical and psychological health across diverse populations. This study was, therefore, conducted to assess their effects on HIV positive individuals in an attempt to improve their quality of life.
Methodology: 60 HIV patients were divided into 3 groups randomly; Group 1 (only medical treatment), Group 2 (medical treatment and aerobic training) and Group 3 (medical treatment and yoga training). These interventions were conducted for 6 weeks after an informed consent and institutional ethical approval. Outcome measures - BMI, Six-minute walk test, Hamilton Anxiety scale, and SF-36 were used. The data was recorded and analysed for statistical significance with ANOVA.
Results: After 6 weeks of treatment, Group 2 and 3 showed significant improvements in the physical functioning (p value 0.02) and mental health scores (p value < 0.01). There was significant reduction in anxiety (p value 0.04) and bodily pain (p value < 0.01) in both groups.
Conclusion: Exercises significantly improve physical and psychological health status, well-being and quality of life in HIV positive individuals. Aerobic training showed superior developments than yoga and can be used as an adjunct to medical line of treatment.