HIV and Smoking
Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Friday and we have almost made it through another work week. I hope you have had a safe and great week so far. It has been another busy one for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.
Anyone who is living with HIV and smoking has been warned by their doctors to quit for their health. But have you heard about the latest study results?
Support provided by HIV doctors during routine clinic visits can help their patients stop smoking, according to new Swiss research.
Rates of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease are higher in people with HIV compared to the general population.
Smoking is the biggest modifiable risk factor for such illnesses.
Many people who smoke want to quit. However, it can be hard, and most people need some help - either professional support or, in some cases, the use of medication.
Therefore, between 2007 and 2009, all doctors from an HIV clinic in Zurich received specialist training to equip them with skills to support patients who wanted to stop smoking.
Compared to patients at other HIV clinics in Switzerland, those who received their care in Zurich were more likely to stop smoking. They were also less likely to restart after they had quit.
After taking into account other factors, researchers found that patients in Zurich were 25% more likely to stop smoking. They were also 25% less likely to restart.
The research identified some patients who found it harder to quit. These included people who injected drugs, heavy drinkers and people with depression or other mental health problems.
The Swiss doctors believe that support to stop smoking should be provided in all consultations between HIV positive people and their doctors.
Want to stop smoking? Talk to your doctor, someone else at your HIV clinic, your General Praticioner, or another professional involved in your care. There is lots of support available – local health services will usually provide group support and sometimes local HIV and LGBT organizations offer workshops as well.
Not only will quitting improve your health but also help you save money.
Hope you have a great Friday!
Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.
big bear hug,