Comprehensive information about diving and undersea medicine for the non-medical diver, the non-diving physician and the specialist.
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Benefits of Diving
Studies have shown that sports participation benefit the HIV/AIDS person both mentally and physically. (See References below). Benefits actually include a delay in the progression of HIV morbidity among participants in the sports group. There can be improvement in cardiac capacity among participants; and a positive correlation between physical training and psychological parameters. Psychological tests show that sports activities cause a reduction in depression, fatigue, and anger, an increase in vigor and an obvious improvement in the quality of life of HIV-infected persons and AIDS patients.
Factors Adverse to Diving
Neurologic symptoms often are the first manifestation of AIDS and commonly occur during its course. Neurologic disorders include acute and chronic aseptic meningitis, peripheral neuropathies with weakness and paresthesias, and encephalopathy with seizures, with focal motor, sensory, or gait deficits, and with progressive dementia. Infections, neoplasms, vascular complications, aseptic meningitis, and neuropathy are among the more prominent sequelae.
A serious neurologic complication is a subacute encephalitis caused by either HIV or cytomegalovirus. The gray matter exhibits nodular collections of microglial cells without other inflammatory infiltrates. Intranuclear and intracytoplasmic inclusions have been observed within the nodules. Small, poorly defined foci of perivenular demyelination are found in white matter. Memory loss, confusion, psychomotor retardation, myoclonus, seizures, and dementia progressing to coma are typical findings spanning weeks to months prior to death. Cortical atrophy on CT, CSF pleocytosis and elevated protein level, and a diffusely abnormal EEG are often, albeit inconsistently, found but are nonspecific.
Vascular complications: Nonbacterial endocarditis, usually with neoplasm or severe infection, can produce transient ischemic attacks and focal ischemic stroke. Cerebral hemorrhage can occur in thrombocytopenic states (eg, lymphoma, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura).
Aseptic meningitis: Rapid onset of headache, fever, stiff neck, and photophobia may be associated with a CSF mononuclear pleocytosis, elevated proteins, slightly depressed glucose, and consistently negative cytologic studies and cultures. The episodes are transient but can be recurrent.
Peripheral neuropathy: Painful dysesthesias, moderate distal sensory loss (stocking-and-glove), depressed ankle reflexes, distal weakness, and atrophy can occur in varying degrees and can coincide with rapid weight loss from poor nutrition; no metabolic cause has been identified. A Guillain-Barré type of neuropathy has been reported. Myopathy similar to polymyositis may complicate AIDS or zidovudine therapy.
A few patients present with renal insufficiency or nephrotic syndrome, with symptomatic anemia, or with immune-mediated thrombocytopenia. HIV-associated thrombocytopenia occurs throughout the full spectrum of HIV infections, usually responds to the same interventions (corticosteroids, splenectomy, IV immune globulin) as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, and seldom leads to bleeding.
Patterns of specific opportunists vary both geographically and between risk groups. In the USA and Europe, > 90% of AIDS patients with Kaposi's syndrome (KS) were homosexual or bisexual men, possibly because of an unidentified, sexually transmissible cofactor. Recently the incidence of KS has been diminishing. Most AIDS cases in the USA and Europe (about 60%) present with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, which is reported less frequently in Africa. Toxoplasmosis and TB are more common in tropical areas where the prevalence of latent infections with Toxoplasma gondii and Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the general population is high. Even in developed countries where background levels of TB are low, HIV infections have caused increased rates and atypical presentations of TB.
CNS infections: The most common treatable neurologic illness is toxoplasmic encephalitis. Headache, lethargy, confusion, seizures, and focal signs evolve over days to weeks. CT findings include ring-enhancing lesions with a predilection for basal ganglia. Serologic tests for IgG antitoxoplasmal antibodies reflecting previous infection are almost always positive but do not always provide conclusive proof that the lesion is caused by Toxoplasma organisms. The CSF shows a mild to moderate pleocytosis and elevated protein content. Brain biopsy can be diagnostic. Treatment is with pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine (or clindamycin if the patient is allergic to sulfa). Prognosis is at best guarded, since recurrence is possible and other complications of AIDS are likely. Cryptococcal and tuberculous meningitides (Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare) also occur in AIDS. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy and infections with Candida, Aspergillus, and gram-negative organisms occur less frequently.
Neoplasms: Primary CNS lymphoma is a frequent intracranial mass lesion in AIDS. It may be clinically silent or may produce focal signs consistent with its anatomic location. CT usually shows a contrast-enhancing mass that cannot always be distinguished from abscess or other lesions; in these cases, MRI may be more discriminating.
Systemic lymphomas in AIDS may involve the CNS. Kaposi's sarcoma rarely involves the CNS.
Adequate primary prophylaxis for fungal, mycobacterial, and toxoplasmal infections is desirable but has not yet been developed. Secondary prophylaxis is indicated to prevent relapses of P. carinii pneumonia, cryptococcal infections, toxoplasmic encephalitis, herpes simplex, and thrush.
PNEUMONIA CAUSED BY PNEUMOCYSTIS CARINII
Symptoms and Signs
Patients with CD4+ lymphocyte counts
< 200/µL should be encouraged to begin primary prophylaxis for
P. carinii pneumonia with trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, dapsone, or
pentamidine. The relative efficacy of these regimens is under study.
the sulfonamides and sulfones appear to provoke adverse effects (eg,
neutropenia, skin rashes) in these patients more frequently than in
with normal immunity, many of these patients must rely on aerosolized
Infections caused by a mixture of bacteria, some requiring O2 and some not [aerobic and anaerobic] that cause necrotizing wounds can occur from injury, surgery or foreign bodies, and generally affect patients who have some underlying illness such as diabetes mellitus, poor circulation, or are immunosuppressed by medications or AIDS.
Physical activity as a therapeutic measure for HIV-infected persons.
Wissenschaftliches Institut der Arzte Deutschlands (WIAD), Bonn, Federal Republic of
Int Conf AIDS, 8(2):B224 (abstract no. PoB 3800) 1992 Jul 19-24
OBJECTIVES: A participant-targeted therapeutic sports program is offered in the Cologne, Bonn. Aachen regions in Germany within the context of the medical model for HIV-infected persons, which is supported by the Ministry of Health. Goal of the program is to contribute towards improvement of HIV-infected persons' and AIDS-patients' mental condition and quality of life, as well as positively influence their latency in the long term. METHODS: The participants of the study are 42 HIV-Positives (14 asymptomatic patients, 6 patients at LAS stage, 10 ARC patients and 12 patients at AIDS stage). The sports group consists of 21 participants. A control group was anonymously paralleled to the sports group because of ethical reasons. The effects of the therapeutic sports program are objective on the basis of the following parameters: A. Immunological parameters (small blood picture, differential blood picture, lymphocytic subpopulation). B. Sports physiological parameters (in order to determine optimal training dosages, all sports group participants underwent bicycle ergometer tests at the beginning of the study. Blood pressure, ECG, pulse rate and lactate acid were taken as parameters. The bicycle ergometer is conducted every 6 months) C. Psychological parameters (standardized questionnaires) Training units comprise 90 minutes twice a week. Training contents are warming up, gymnastics, endurance training, games and a relaxation program. RESULTS: Interim results of the sports study available to date in regard to the immunological parameters indicate a delay in the progression of HIV morbidity among participants in the sports group. In contrast to this, a definite deterioration in the measured parameters could be observed in the anonymously paralleled control group. The results of the bicycle ergometer tests showed an improvement in cardiac capacity among participants in the sports group after six months. A positive correlation between physical training and psychological parameters could be observed. The items depression, fatigue, vigor and anger of the standardized psychological test POMS show that sport is an obvious factor to improve the quality of life of HIV-infected persons and AIDS patients.
CONCLUSIONS: The final conclusion is that, aside from the primary target variables in the sports medical and immunological sectors, an open program for a target group in danger of isolation can bring about a change in feelings towards life through interacting psychosocial effects in which contact readiness, pleasure and frequency, along with conversations and exchange of experiences play a decisive role.
The effects of a physical activity program on HIV-positive men and women.
Reussner D; Kraus MF; Lamwersiek H
Sozialpadagogisches Institut Berlin, FRG.
Int Conf AIDS, 8(3):126 (abstract no. PuB 7467) 1992 Jul 19-24
ISSUE: Until now the effects of physical activity on people's immune-system seem to be largely unexplored. Only in the field of high performance sports this question has been
recently studied by sports-scientists. Based on success of sport therapy in the treatment of multifarious clinical pictures the assumption is obvious that physical activity could be
important also in the treatment of HIV-infections in the meaning of prolonged stabilization of the immune-system. By the side of physiological effects a considerable influence on mental health is attributed to being engaged in sports. So for example regular physical activity decreases stress-evoked states of tension and leads to a more well-balanced state of mood. The positive psychoneuroimmunological influence of these effects on different clinical pictures (e.g. see cancer research) is empirically proved and is therefore also assumed for HIV-infections.
DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT: For a period of six month 33 HIV-infected men and women took part twice a week in a sport-program carried out by
two sportspedagogues. The specific treatment-program is based on health-oriented forms of training and sport-games and took also into consideration requests and suggestions of the participants. Immunological data are collected at four different dates. Also psychological data are explored. The same data are collected simultaneously in a control-group of 15 HIV-positive men and woman being not involved in physical activity. RESULTS: The results show a increase in immune-parameters, coping-ability, wellbeing and a decrease in anxiety. In the same time immune-parameters in the control-group decrease.
CONCLUSIONS: The reasonable benefits of physical activity for HIV-infected people indicate that sport-treatment-programs should be integrated as a measure of secondary prevention of HIV-infections.
HIV infection in athletes. What are the risks? Who can compete?
Department of Family Practice, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN 55408.
Postgrad Med, 92(7):73-5, 79-80 1992 Nov 15
The activities of athletes and personnel who provide their medical care may place them at slightly greater risk for infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) than their nonathletic peers. At this point, there is no reason to disallow participation of athletes who are HIV-infected. Thus, sports physicians need to assume that they are at risk for accidental exposure to HIV and use appropriate precautions. Most important, physicians can educate athletes, coaches, and trainers to practice "safe" athletics and medical care to minimize the risks of exposure to and transmission of HIV. Testing for HIV can be encouraged for athletes who may be at risk and should be done for any athlete who specifically requests it.
Physicians should encourage further study to clarify the specific issues and risks of HIV infection created by athletic competition and prepare to deal with the changing knowledge about HIV and AIDS.
Ernest Campbell, MD, FACS All Rights Reserved.