Published: June 27, 2021


The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was discovered in the 1980s. Development of HIV treatment has since been accompanied by decreased attention to HIV in Europe and North America. Yet, while treatment for HIV increased the life expectancy of at least some people living with HIV (PLWH), the available treatment is not a cure and the quality of life of PLWH remains impaired. Even in the era of treatment, research on how to ameliorate symptoms in PLWH thus remains crucial. This thesis investigates the potential of exercise to ameliorate symptoms and comorbidities associated with HIV, especially those acting though a key gene regulator of the immune response (the transcription factor NF-kB) in interaction with the gut microbiome (community of gut bacteria), and specifically butyrate-producing bacteria. Comprehensive literature review of these different focus areas supports the conclusion that moderate exercise may be a beneficial therapy for PLWH, although more research is necessary to fully elucidate how exercise-driven increases in butyrate levels affect those with HIV. Overall, the findings of this thesis suggest that exercise has the potential to enhance quality of life in PLWH.