Aerobic endurance in HIV-positive young adults and HIV-negative controls in Malawi

  • EM Chisati
  • O Vasseljen


Background: Aerobic endurance is an important aspect of physical fitness that enables individuals living with HIV to endure in the work place as well as in agricultural operations in order to earn a living and improve their quality of life. However, despite high HIV prevalence rates, the aerobic endurance status of young Malawians living with HIV remains unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the difference in VO2max between HIV-negative and HIV-positive individuals in Blantyre, Malawi.
Methods: Fifty five participants (17 males and 38 females) who have HIV and were not taking antiretroviral medication and 78 HIV-negative participants (45 males and 33 females) performed the Rockport submaximal treadmill exercise test. Measures of body weight, post-exercise heart rate and time to walk one mile were obtained and used to predict VO2max. Comparisons between groups were adjusted for age differences using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).
Results:  VO2max was significantly lower in HIV-positive subjects [31.1, 28.7 -, 95% CI)] compared with HIV-negative subjects [56.2, 54.3 -].
Conclusion: Aerobic endurance was markedly reduced in HIV-positive participants compared with HIV-negative participants. Findings of the current study implicate factors associated with the HIV infection as contributors to a decreased aerobic endurance in people living with HIV.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1995-7262
print ISSN: 1995-7262