Is Smoking more Dangerous for People with HIV?

Is Smoking more Dangerous for People with HIV? : Apart from the already known fatal diseases of smoking, now researches show its association with an increased risk of acquiring HIV infection. A study from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides preliminary evidence that at least in the test tube, constituents of cigarette smoke induce HIV production in chronically infected cells.

People with HIV disease are now living longer. But, smoking can easily interfere with long term quality life of HIV people.

Smoking greatly weakens the immune system of the body, and an increased risk for certain infections in both HIV-negative and HIV-positive individuals, including the sexually transmitted infection (STI), human papilloma virus (HPV), which is associated with genital and anal warts and cervical and anal cancer.

How smoking affects HIV patients?

  • People with HIV who smoke are more likely to suffer complications from HIV medication than those who don’t. For example, they are likely to experience nausea and vomiting from taking HIV medications.
  • Smoking causes HIV drugs and medications not to work as well as they should.
  • HIV-positive smokers develop AIDS faster than non-smokers.
  • People with HIV who smoke is more likely develop osteoporosis and it may lead to fractures.
  • HIV treatment in smokers increases the risk of heart attack.
  • HIV positive individuals who smoke have a significantly increased risk of dying of lung cancer.
  • Tobacco smoking increases the risk of chronic lung disease for HIV positive smokers. It also interferes with processing of medications by the liver.
  • People with HIV disease who smoke are more likely to develop several Opportunistic Infections related to HIV. They are more likely to develop:1. Thrush
    2. Oral hairy leukoplakia (whitish mouth sores)
    3. Bacterial pneumonia
    4. Pneumocystis pneumonia
  • For women who smoke, smoking can increase the risk and severity of infection with human papilloma virus. This increases the risk of cervical disease.
  • In ordinary smokers, smoking damages the blood vessels and creates tiny cuts in the mouth by making it easier for the smoker to get HIV from another person.
  • People who smoke tobacco are more likely to become HIV infected or develop high risk behaviors that facilitate HIV transmission.