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PLoS One. 2014 Sep 9;9(9):e107451. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107451. eCollection 2014.

Tobacco smoking in HIV-infected versus general population in france: heterogeneity across the various groups of people living with HIV.

Author information

INSERM, UMR_S 1136, Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health, Department of social epidemiology, Paris, France; Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR_S 1136, Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health, Department of social epidemiology, Paris, France.
INSERM, U1018, Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Department of epidemiology of Occupational and Social Determinants of Health, Villejuif, France; Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University, Villejuif, France.
INSERM, UMR912, Economics and Social Sciences Applied to Health and Analysis of Medical Information (SESSTIM), Marseille, France; Aix Marseille University, UMR_S912, IRD, Marseille, France; ORS PACA, Southeastern Health Regional Observatory, Marseille, France.



Although the various groups of people living with HIV (PLWHIV) considerably differ regarding socioeconomic and behavioral characteristics, their specificities regarding tobacco smoking have been poorly investigated. We aimed to assess patterns of tobacco consumption across the various groups of PLWHIV and to compare them to the general population, accounting for the specific socioeconomic profile of PLWHIV.


We used data of the ANRS-Vespa2 study, a national representative survey on PLWHIV conducted in France in 2011. Prevalence of past and current tobacco consumption, heavy smoking and strong nicotine dependence were assessed among the various groups of PLWHIV as defined by transmission category, gender and geographic origin, and compared to the French general population using direct standardization and multivariate Poisson regression models, accounting for gender, age, education and geographic origin.


Among the 3,019 participants aged 18-85 years (median time since HIV diagnosis: 12 years), 37.5% were current smokers and 22.1% were past smokers, with marked differences across the various groups of PLWHIV. Compared to the general population, the prevalence of regular smoking was increased among HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) (adjusted prevalence rate ratio (aPRR): 1.19, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.07-1.32), French-native women (aPRR: 1.32, 95% CI: 1.10-1.57), and heterosexual French-native men (although not significantly, aPRR: 1.19, 95% CI: 0.98-1.45). Additionally, HIV-infected MSM were significantly less likely to be ex-smokers (aPRR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.64-0.82) than the general population and similar trends were observed among heterosexual French-native men (aPRR: 0.89, 95% CI: 0.78-1.02) and women (aPRR: 0.84, 95% CI: 0.70-1.01). HIV-infected sub-Saharan African migrants were less likely to be regular smokers than the general population.


Smoking constitutes a major concern in various groups of PLWHIV in France including MSM and heterosexual French-natives, probably resulting from PLWHIV being less likely to quit smoking than their counterparts in the general population.

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