To examine aerobic fitness, total moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and also patterns in terms of MVPA between children and adolescents with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and controls, and to determine whether differences, if any, are associated with HIV, sex and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
A cross-sectional analysis was carried out with 130 children and adolescents, aged between 8 and 15 years, divided into two groups (HIV group= 65 patients, control group= 65 healthy participants). Total MVPA was measured by accelerometers and 5 and 10-min bouts were estimated. The peak oxygen uptake (peak VO2) was measured by breath-by-breath respiratory exchange in an incremental cycle ergometer test.
HIV-positive participants had lower peak VO2 (39.2 ± 6.8 vs. 44.5 ± 9.1 ml.kg-1min-1), lower bouts of MVPA of 5-min (19.7 ± 16.6 vs. 26.6 ± 23.5) and 10-min (3.6 ± 3.9 vs. 5.8 ± 7.2), but similar total MVPA (49.5 ± 28.9 vs. 49.1 ± 30.6 min.day-1). HIV infection in untreated, nonprotease inhibitors (PI)- based HAART and PI-based HAART patients was associated with lower 8.5 (95%CI= 12.5–4.6), 7.1 (95%CI= 10.6–3.6) and 4.5 (95%CI= 7.0–2.0) ml.kg-1min-1 of peak VO2.
Children and adolescents with HIV demonstrated lower aerobic fitness compared with the controls and the absence of HAART may increase peak VO2 impairment. Lower bouts of MVPA were also observed in HIV group despite the similar values of total MVPA of controls.