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People living with HIV and smoking

According to recent research released, tobacco use results in significant morbidity and mortality among people living with HIV. As a result of this, countries with a high prevalence of tobacco use among HIV-positive populations, should introduce tobacco cessation in their HIV treatment plans as a priority. Skills in HIV care providers need to be improved to help correctly identify current smokers and develop their confidence in their ability to influence smoking cessation.

Given that the overwhelming task of managing HIV infection and its complications is an enormous task, stopping the use of tobacco could be seen as less of a priority for both care providers and patients. However, options need to be explored for effective and cost-effective tobacco cessation interventions for people living with HIV that are sustainable in low-resource settings.

Action taken could include combining of tobacco cessation programmes within HIV programmes resulting in further identification and recording of tobacco use. Action could also be the "provision of tobacco cessation interventions; increasing health-care providers' awareness and skills in providing cessation advice to people living with HIV; increasing awareness of the harms due to tobacco use and the benefits of quitting among people living with HIV; and implementation of smoke-free policies within HIV-treatment facilities.

For the full paper, click here Tobacco use among people living with HIV: analysis of data from Demographic and Health Surveys from 28 low-income and middle-income countries Mdege, Noreen D et al.The Lancet Global Health , Volume 5 Issue 6 , e578 - e592

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