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Stopping smoking cuts the risk of some cancers quickly in people with HIV
Keith Alcorn, 2017-02-17 08:00:00

Smoking probably contributes far more to the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with HIV than antiretroviral drug choice, viral load or any factor linked to the virus, but stopping smoking leads to a rapid reduction in the risk of some cancers, according to results from a cluster of studies presented at the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle on Thursday.

Smoking is far more common among people living with HIV than in the general population. In the United States general population, the prevalence of smoking has declined from 42% in 1965 to 17% in 2014, but a 2015 study estimated that 40% of people living with HIV in the United States still smoke. In the United Kingdom the ASTRA cohort study found that people with HIV were more likely to smoke than the general population (29% vs 19%), and in particular, were far more likely to be heavy smokers.

A recently-published study estimated that smoking has a greater impact on the life expectancy of people with HIV than HIV infection that is well controlled by treatment, due to cancers, cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.