April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015
Smoking Increases Viral Load and Risk of Heart Attack

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Thursday and I hope you are having a beary safe and great week so far. Dab the AIDS Bear and I have been down with a fever for the past few days.

Recently, Dab the AIDS Bear and I started a clinical trial study for people living with HIV who smoke. The study is being done by the University of South Florida. While I wish I had never started smoking, I am hoping I will be an ex-smoker by the time the study is done.

But why is this important for people living with HIV? There are numerous health problems which are unique or magnified in people living with HIV which I will blog about today.

This week we look at a handful of studies that ultimately point out the obvious: Smoking is bad for your health. We also look at a study that found HIV-positive men with detectable viral loads need fewer drinks to feel the effects of alcohol. Additionally, a large study set out to determine whether being gay was actually a risk factor when donating blood, and whether current blood ban policies were necessary. And a super algorithm could help us analyze electronic adherence data and implement selective viral load testing to save us some money. That and much more. To beat HIV, you have to follow the science!


Smoking Increases Viral Load and Oxidative Stress in HIV-Positive Individuals

We know that smoking is common among people living with HIV, and that even mild smoking increases HIV progression. This study further elucidated that by showing an increase in viral load for HIV-positive patients who were mild-to-moderate smokers compared to those who did not smoke. Moreover, although the researchers were unable to observe significant changes in most inflammatory markers, their findings did suggest an association between smoking and oxidative stress, as well as cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes.

Smoking Associated With 75% of Heart Attacks in People Living With HIV

Smoking was associated with 75% of all heart attacks among HIV-positive individuals, compared to only 25% in the general population, according to a recent, large Danish study. The researchers suggested that smoking cessation be a primary focus in modern HIV care, particularly since quitting smoking could prevent more than 40% of heart attacks among HIV-positive individuals. The study was featured in the current print issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, but was published online, ahead of print, in January. Having HIV Associated With Increased Risk of Lung Cancer

Pulmonary damage and inflammation associated with HIV infection is linked to an increased risk of lung cancer, based on long-term data from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) and the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). "Encouraging and assisting younger HIV-infected smokers to quit and to sustain cessation of smoking is imperative to reduce the lung cancer burden in this population," the researchers noted. HIV Infection Associated With Increased Risk of Acute Exacerbation of COPD

More and more studies are finding an association between HIV and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This latest study found that HIV was independently associated with increased risk of acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD), which is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality. HIV-Positive Men Need Fewer Drinks to "Feel a Buzz"

HIV-positive men with detectable viral loads needed fewer drinks to "feel a buzz" than those with undetectable viral loads or HIV-negative men, according to a recent study.

Since I have already had a heart attack and several strokes, I am hoping to be able to quit the horrible habit of nicotine by the end of the study. Wish me luck.

Hope you have a beary safe and great Thursday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab