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$3.25 million R01 grant will explore the long-term impact of diet, exercise on symptoms of adults with HIV

January 24, 2019
Written by Hannah Bae

Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Case Western Reserve Universityhave received a $3.25 million, five-year R01 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research to begin to recruiting for the first longitudinal study — PROSPER-HIV — investigating how exercise and nutrition affect the symptoms adults with HIV experience.

HIV comes with a high burden of symptoms, including pain, memory loss and fatigue, often causing distress and a decrease in quality of life for those living with the disease. How to effectively mitigate these symptoms non-pharmaceutically is unclear, but physical activity and good dietary intake appear to be promising symptom management strategies.


Amanda Willig, Ph.D.

“There is very little known about how the body responds to changes in diet and physical activity when HIV infection is present,” said Amanda Willig, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UAB Division of Infectious Diseases and one of the principal investigators for the study. “We hope these discoveries can improve clinical care for those living and aging with HIV and support tailored lifestyle interventions for their unique needs.”

The PROSPER-HIV study will observe 850 patients at four different HIV clinic locations — UAB, Case Western, University of Washington and Fenway Health — for three years. The study will also look at various dietary or activity patterns within certain subgroups, including older adults, women and minority populations.

Findings from this multi-university collaboration will help develop clinical interventions that reduce symptoms endured by people living with HIV through the targeting of individuals’ dietary intake and physical activity. The results can also be used to inform the next stages of research and to clarify the mechanisms that lead to these symptoms.

Any existing Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems Cohort participants who would like to take part in this new study are encouraged to contact their respective aforementioned clinical sites for more information.