n South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation - Physical activity levels of HIV-infected individuals in rural and urban communities in Free State province, South Africa

Volume 41 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0379-9069


HIV infection increases fatigue and physical inactivity. This study aimed to determine levels of physical activity associated with HIV infection in individuals from rural and urban communities in the Free State Province, South Africa. Adults aged 25–64 years were eligible to participate. Ninety-seven (17.1%) of the 567 rural and 172 (40.6%) of the 424 urban participants were HIV-infected. Logistic regression with forward selection (p<0.05) was used to select significant independent physical activity levels (PAL) associated with HIV status. Variables with a p-value of <0.15 were considered for inclusion in the model. In urban areas, the median PAL of both males and females fell in the low-active category, while in rural areas HIV-uninfected males and females were more active than HIV-infected participants. In the rural sample, HIV infection was positively associated with being sedentary versus very active (odds ratio 3.18, CI 1.31; 7.70); low active versus very active (odds ratio 2.27, CI 1.08; 4.77); and active versus very active (odds ratio 2.44, CI 1.31; 4.55). Being physically inactive was positively associated with HIV infection in the rural sample of this study, confirming that decreased physical activity is often an outcome of HIV infection.

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