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HIV and Exercise - Topic Overview

Exercise can't control the HIV infection. But exercise may help you feel better by reducing stress. Exercise may also help your immune system work better.

Exercise:

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HIV, AIDS, and Mycobacterium Avium Complex

  Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) is a group of bacteria that are related to tuberculosis. These germs are very common in food, water, and soil. Almost everyone has them in their bodies. If you have a strong immune system, they don't cause problems. But they can cause serious illness in people with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). With the right combination of medications, however, you can prevent or treat MAC. In some cases, you may need lifelong therapy.

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  • Is safe.
  • Improves strength and endurance.
  • Improves heart and lung fitness.
  • May help you feel less tired or fatigued.
  • Enhances your sense of well-being.
  • May help stabilize or prevent declines in CD4+ cell counts.

Start exercising while you are healthy, and do your best to find new ways to keep yourself motivated to maintain your exercise program.

The ability of a person who has HIV to improve his or her fitness through training is similar to that of a person who does not have HIV. But people with HIV may find it harder to continue with a training program because of fatigue or muscle wasting.

Participation in competitive sports does not pose a risk of spreading HIV to other athletes or coaches. In sports in which exposure to blood can occur, the risk of spreading HIV is very small. But if a person (HIV-infected or not) does start to bleed, he or she should be taken out of the game and the wounds should be covered before the person returns to the game.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 05, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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