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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Sara D Pullen, Emory University School of Medicine, Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1462 Clifton Road, NE, Suite 312, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA, Tel +1 404 712 5112, Fax +1 404 712 4130, Email, sara.pullen@emory.edu

The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.



  • exercise
  • manual therapy
  • quality of life

Physiotherapy intervention as a complementary treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS


Journal Title:

HIV/AIDS - Research and Palliative Care


Volume 2014, Number 6


, Pages 99-107

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background: The advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy has dramatically extended the life expectancy of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Despite this increased longevity, HIV disease and its pharmacological treatment can cause long-term and acute health complications, many of which can be treated successfully by physiotherapy. The purpose of this paper is to report the effect of a 12-week rehabilitation program on several health-related markers in a 43-year-old woman living with HIV. Methods: This case study examined the effect of a 12-week exercise and manual therapy intervention on morphology, pain, cardiopulmonary fitness, strength, neurological balance, immune markers (CD4 cell count), and quality of life in a 43-year-old woman living with HIV. Results: The results showed complete elimination of pain and shortness of breath on exertion. There was also a reduction in resting heart rate, waist circumference, exercise duration, muscle strength, and endurance. The patient showed an increase in peak expiratory flow rate, maximal heart rate attained, upper arm, forearm, and thigh circumference, and CD4+ cell count. The patient also showed improvements in the quality of life domains of general health, pain, energy/fatigue, social and physical functioning, and emotional well-being. Conclusion: Physiotherapy interventions consisting of exercise and manual therapy appear beneficial in several areas as an adjunct therapy in HIV management.

Copyright information:

© 2014 Pullen et al.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/).

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