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Smoking kills AIDS patients sooner


HIV-positive patient who access treatment but continue to smoke are more likely to die from tobacco-related disease than the HI-virus, a recent study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease indicates.

“A 35-year-old HIV patient had a median life expectancy of 62.6 years for smokers and 78.4 years for non-smokers; the numbers of life-years lost in association with smoking and HIV was 12.3 and 5.1,” the study findings read.

The study was conducted by a research team at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Between 1995 and 2010 they collected mortality data from 2 921 people living with HIV and a control group of 10 642.

The findings show that non-Aids related mortality substantially increased among smoking patients compared to those who did not smoke. The authors concluded that in a setting where effective HIV treatment is freely available, HIV infected smokers lose more life-years to smoking than HIV.


Health-e is a news agency that produces news and in-depth analysis for the print and electronic media. Their particular focus is HIV/AIDS, public health and issues regarding health policy and practice in South Africa. They provide print features for newspapers and magazines and well as broadcast packages for national and community radio stations. They also accept commissions. 

Information in this article was accurate in January 16, 2013. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.