AIDS care 2017 05 12() 1-5 doi 10.1080/09540121.2017.1327645
Cigarette smoking among people living with HIV/AIDS is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, but findings regarding the association between cigarette smoking and HIV viral load and CD4+ lymphocyte counts have been inconsistent. This study characterized the prevalence of cigarette smoking among HIV-infected Russian women and examined the association between smoking frequency and quantity and HIV viral load and CD4+ lymphocyte counts. HIV-infected Russian women (N = 250; M age = 30.0) in St. Petersburg, Russia, completed an audio computer-assisted self-interview survey assessing cigarette use, antiretroviral medication adherence, and provided blood samples assayed for HIV viral load and CD4+ lymphocyte counts. The majority (60.4%) reported cigarette smoking in the past month; 49.0% of recent smokers were classified as moderate or heavy smokers, defined as smoking ≥10 cigarettes daily. Viral load status did not differ between infrequent smokers and regular smokers. However, moderate/heavy smokers (relative to light smokers) were more likely to have a detectable viral load (AOR = 2.3, 95% CI: 1.1, 5.1). There were no significant differences in CD4+ lymphocyte counts by smoking frequency or quantity of cigarettes smoked. Results highlight the need for additional research to examine the association between cigarette smoking and virologic suppression and markers of HIV disease progression. Adverse health consequences of cigarette smoking coupled with a potential link between heavy smoking and poor virologic suppression highlight the need for assessment of cigarette use and provision of evidence-based smoking-cessation interventions within HIV medical care.