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Are you HIV positive and want to quit smoking?

Aidsmap.com reports that smoking doubles the mortality risk for people with HIV taking antiretroviral therapy, a study published in AIDS shows.

Smokers had an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and non-AIDS-related cancers, and the life expectancy of a 35-year-old man with HIV was reduced by almost eight years due to smoking.

“Smoking was associated with a two-fold increase in mortality,” comment the authors. “More than a third of all non-AIDS related malignant deaths were from lung cancer and all deaths from lung cancer were in smokers.”

The benefits of not smoking were clear. HIV-positive non-smokers who were doing well on antiretroviral therapy had a similar life expectancy to non-smokers in the general population.

With the right treatment and care, people living with HIV can have a normal life expectancy. However, mortality rates remain higher among people with HIV compared to the background population. The reasons for this are unclear, but important causes of death among people with HIV now include smoking-related diseases such as heart and lung complaints and non-AIDS-related malignancies. 

The Brunswick Centre has trained stop smoking advisors who can offer support with quitting and they work with collegaues in the local stop smoking services at Smokefree Yorkshire to ensure the needs of people with HIV are met.