Motivating HIV+ Latinos to Quit Smoking

Ethnic Health - Motivating HIV+ Latinos to Quit Smoking

Advances in the treatment of HIV disease have shown dramatic effects on improving immune function in a significant proportion of people infected with HIV in the US. For the first time since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, individuals with HIV are faced with the prospect of living longer, healthier lives. Cigarette smoking is highly prevalent among HIV+ individuals and, in addition to the negative health effects associated with smoking, poses unique health risks to those with HIV.

Our research program was designed to improve the health and quality of life of HIV+ individuals and determine the most efficacious approaches to smoking cessation for diverse subpopulations of these patients. Latinos make up 13% of the U.S. population, yet account for 18.5% of all AIDS cases reported through December 2002, making the Latino AIDS rate 4 times higher than that of non-Hispanic Whites.

We compared a culturally sensitive intervention that incorporated a strong social support component to a standard care control condition, in a randomized controlled trial. This study was the first to examine different smoking cessation treatments in a Latino HIV+ population and the results have implications for importing culturally sensitive and cost effective cessation treatments into clinical care settings.