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Patient perspectives on tobacco cessation services for persons living with HIV/AIDS

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With the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy, the survival for HIV-infected individuals has increased, but other health-related behaviors have been largely unaddressed. Tobacco use is of primary concern, given its prevalence and the medical implications of smoking among these patients. Improving responsiveness to the needs, values, and preferences of patients (i.e., patient-centeredness) is a focus for increasing participation in systems of care. To assess the social, cultural, and educational barriers limiting use of smoking cessation services by HIV-positive individuals, two focus groups were conducted at a Louisiana HIV outpatient clinic. Questions addressed smoking history, knowledge of and access to cessation services, and knowledge of effects of smoking on disease progression and medication efficacy. Identified themes included a desire for increased and more specific information on the health effects of smoking as related to the patients’ HIV status, difficulty in quitting, motivation, and the increased burden of medication. These results provide recommendations for designing, for HIV-infected smokers, patient-centered treatment of tobacco use, including providing relevant knowledge, access to cessation services, and more effective messages related to the impact of tobacco use on disease progression.

Keywords: HIV; focus group; smoking; tobacco cessation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: LSU Health Sciences Center,School of Public Health, New Orleans,LA, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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