HIV-infected persons often experience a loss of lean tissue mass, which includes decreases in skeletal muscle mass. This HIV-associated wasting is significant because it has been associated with accelerated disease progression and increased morbidity.
In an attempt to counter muscle wasting in HIV-infected persons, treatments have been suggested that target these mechanisms. Nutritional supplementation, cytokine reduction, hormone therapy and resistance exercise training are potential treatments for this condition.
Resistance exercise training, which is more easily accessible to this population than other treatments, holds promise in counteracting the process of HIV wasting, as it has been successfully used to increase lean tissue mass in healthy and clinical populations.