Medical Minute: HIV and Exercise

By: Casey Taylor
By: Casey Taylor

Exercise is good for most people, but for Ken, it's changed his life.

"Oh, I was wretched, I mean just wretched,” he says.

Ken is HIV positive. His medications made him balloon up.

"There aren't any pictures. I wouldn't allow any to be taken."

He started exercising three days a week and lost fifty-five pounds in three months. His waist dropped from a forty-three to a thirty.

"I was actually thinking about, you know, possibly even going to the beach this

Barbara Smith says, for years exercise was thought to be bad for HIV patients.

"Early in the epidemic, exercise was not really encouraged because of the fear of wasting."

Wasting or massive weight loss is risky with HIV, but new drug cocktails cause many patients to gain weight. Smith's research shows, contrary to popular belief, exercise is good for people with HIV.

Roy is HIV positive and recently started working out.

"My goal was to be more fit, more toned." "There are a lot of positives about it," he comments.

Ken has found one negative.

"The down side is that my wallet is still reeling because you know I've had to go out and get a whole new wardrobe."

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