Smoking Might Increase Risk of Contracting HIV, Study Says
September 26, 2006
Smoking might increase the risk of contracting HIV, according to a study published in the Aug. 21 online edition of the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, the New York Times reports (Nagourney, New York Times, 9/26). Andrew Furber, a public health consultant at the South East Sheffield Primary Care Trust in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of studies examining tobacco smoking as a risk factor for either HIV infection or progression of the virus to AIDS. Of the six studies the researchers examined, five suggest that smoking tobacco is an independent risk factor for HIV seroconversion after adjusting for confounding factors (Furber et al., Sexually Transmitted Infections, 8/21). According to the study, smokers are between 60% and 300% more likely to contract HIV than nonsmokers (BBC News, 9/23). The researchers said they are not sure why the link exists, but they note the increasing evidence that smoking raises the risk of contracting all types of infections, possibly because it might alter the structure of the lungs or weaken the immune system. According to the researchers, tobacco use is often higher among groups at higher risk for HIV transmission, including commercial sex workers (New York Times, 9/26). Nine of 10 other studies the researchers looked at showed no evidence that tobacco smoking increased the progression of HIV to AIDS, according to the researchers (Reuters, 9/20).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2006 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
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