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A multinational qualitative investigation of the perspectives and drivers of exercise and dietary behaviors in people living with HIV.


Globally, people living with HIV (PLWH) are at remarkably high risk for developing chronic comorbidities. While exercise and healthy eating reduce and mitigate chronic comorbidites, PLWH like many others, often fail to engage in recommended levels. We qualitatively examined the perspectives and contextual drivers of diet and exercise reported by PLWH and their health care providers. Two hundred and six participants across eight sites in the United States, Puerto Rico and Botswana described one overarching theme, Arranging Priorities, and four subthemes Defining Health, Perceived Importance of Diet and Exercise, Competing Needs, and Provider Influence. People living with HIV and their health care providers recognize the importance of eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise. Yet there are HIV-specific factors limiting these behaviors that should be addressed. Health care providers have an important, and often underutilized opportunity to support PLWH to make improvements to their exercise and diet behavior.

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