Structured Exercise Interventional Sub-Study

Exercise has been used as an important self-care therapy to improve health and quality of life and reduce the adverse effects of treatment in people with HIV. Work in some populations suggests that exercise may specifically benefit brain health: Cross-sectional studies show that active older adults have a lower risk of cognitive impairment than their sedentary counterparts. Exercise interventions have been shown to improve cognitive performance, particularly on tests of executive function, in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

This study seeks to contribute evidence for the feasibility of introducing a comprehensive exercise program in sedentary people with HIV and cognitive deficits, and to explore potential impact on brain health.

We hypothesize that a comprehensive exercise program will be associated with improved cognitive ability in such individuals.

The research question is to estimate the extent to which a comprehensive exercise program improves cognitive health in people with HIV, and secondarily to estimate the extent to which exercise induced changes in metabolic health and inflammatory markers mediate changes in cognitive health.

This intervention will target sedentary individuals (ie who report less than 30 minutes of exercise (brisk walking or better) per day) with both subjective and objective cognitive deficits as established by our platform measures. Participants meeting these criteria, and the core platform criteria, will be randomly selected from the cohort and participate in a 16-week comprehensive exercise program.