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AIDS Educ Prev. 2009 Jun;21(3 Suppl):54-64. doi: 10.1521/aeap.2009.21.3_supp.54.

Characteristics of HIV-positive cigarette smokers: a sample of smokers facing multiple challenges.

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  • 1University of California, San Francisco, 1426 Fillmore St., Suite 216, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.


HIV-positive populations have high smoking rates and smoking puts HIV-positive individuals at higher risk for HIV-related health problems. Little information is available on the characteristics of HIV-positive smokers. The present study examines the baseline psychosocial characteristics of 184 HIV-positive cigarette smokers enrolled in a smoking cessation clinical trial. The sample was 82% male, and 53% Caucasian. Over half were unemployed and 43.8% reported an income of less than $10,000. Mean cigarettes per day was 19.2 and the mean Fagerström Test Nicotine Dependence score was 4.8. The majority reported a strong desire to quit however, only 45% endorsed a goal of complete abstinence. On average, 43.2% of the smokers' social support was made up of other smokers. Both licit and illicit drug use was common and there were significant rates of lifetime psychiatric diagnoses in this cohort of smokers. It is critical to evaluate interventions that consider the specific needs of this group.

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