Physical activity among HIV-positive patients receiving antiretroviral therapy in Hanoi and Nam Dinh, Vietnam: A cross-sectional study

Anh Kim Dang, Long Hoang Nguyen, Anh Quynh Nguyen, Bach Xuan Tran, Tung Thanh Tran, Carl A. Latkin, Melvyn W.B. Zhang, Roger C.M. Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has facilitated the transition of HIV infection into a chronic disease, where adherence to medications is required along with keeping a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, an increase in physical activity has been recommended for patients with HIV in order to maintain their health status. This study looked to determine the physical activity level and its associated factors among patients with HIV receiving ART treatment. Settings Eight outpatient clinic sites across different levels of the health systems in both rural and urban settings in Hanoi and Nam Dinh, Vietnam. Study design and participants A cross-sectional study was performed among 1133 patients with HIV receiving ART treatment from January to August 2013. Primary and secondary outcome measures Physical activity level was measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Socioeconomic, health-related quality of life, ART adherence and ART-related characteristics were self-reported. Results 16% of participants were inactive, and 68% were reported active via health-enhancing physical activity. Rural participants reported a higher level of physical activity compared with urban participants. Participants having a longer duration of ART were less likely to be physically active. Participants who were female and self-employed, who had higher CD4 cell count, higherEuroQol - 5 dimensions - 5levels (EQ-5D-5L) index/EQ-Visual Analogue Scale, and shared their health status with their peers were more likely to have a higher IPAQ score or be physically active. A lower IPAQ score was associated with participants living in urban areas and being at the symptomatic stage. Participants having poor adherence and longer duration of ART were more likely to be physically inactive. Conclusion The majority of participants who received ART were physically active. There is a need for interventions to promote physical activity among patients with HIV in urban areas and in the later ART treatment phases. Other potential interventions to increase the level of physical activity include peer support and job guidance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere020688
JournalBMJ open
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • PLWH
  • Vietnam
  • antiretroviral therapy
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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