• Altering Mechanisms of Frailty in Persons Living with HIV

      Nelson, Amy; Klinedinst, N. Jennifer (2021)
      Background: People with HIV experience frailty more often and earlier than others. Little is known about mechanisms driving early frailty in HIV. There are a lack of effective interventions for frailty in HIV. This study explored the mechanisms of musculoskeletal frailty in people living with HIV and the influence of baseline activity after a six-week aerobic exercise intervention. Methods: A literature review developed an adapted conceptual model for musculoskeletal frailty in HIV for the first manuscript. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a secondary data analysis utilized the baseline activity measure (Yale Physical Activity Survey) from 11 healthy participants who completed a six-week moderate paced walking program, aged 50 to 65. Cellular energy production and inflammation markers were available pre- and post-intervention. Correlation with baseline activity was assessed using Kendall’s tau-b. Results: Mechanisms of musculoskeletal frailty in people living with HIV include increased inflammation, dysregulated energy metabolism, immune activation, and endocrine alterations. Aerobic exercise has the potential to moderate each of these. The relationship between baseline activity and changes in cellular energy metabolism was not statistically significant. However, strong positive associations were noted between body mass index and change in platelet spare respiratory capacity, the ability of mitochondria to produce more energy upon demand. In examining the effect of baseline activity on inflammatory markers, no significant relationships were found, and no markers showed significant change. Conclusion: Moderate walking did not make significant changes in inflammation after a six-week moderate paced walking intervention. Baseline activity levels did not play a significant role in the change of either inflammation or cellular energy production. This may be because healthy participants did not have impaired levels of inflammation or cellular energy metabolism at baseline. This study should be repeated in people living with HIV who have altered inflammation or cellular energy metabolism.