Well, I'm no expert on HIV, but look at the effects of smoking on people without being HIV positive. All of the health risks for everyone in general is bad enough, now let's take on the risk of a lower immune system on top of that. It makes sense that there would be problems.
I hav identified as hiv+ 2012 april and using forstavir-3. at that time my cd4-57 and viral load-1986. and in august my cd4-159 and viral load-59. in 2013 feb my cd4-374. im a drinker and left drinking and now occutionally ill drink. how smoking effects viral load and cd4. is there any tests to be carried out or drug to be changed?
Response from Dr. Young
While tobacco has limited direct effects on CD4 count, and no effects on HIV viral load tests, I think that your focus is misdirected.
There is compelling evidence that tobacco smoke is really bad for positives.
In this TheBodypro review by Dr. David Wohl, of a study of HIV positive people in Denmark:
*Increased risk of dying for an HIV-infected smoker compared to an HIV+ nonsmoker: 4 times
*Life expectancy of a 35 year old HIV-infected patient who smokes: 62 years
*Life expectancy of a 35 year old HIV-infected patient who never smoked: 78 years
*Total years lost due to smoking: 12.3 (!)
Twelve years of life lost by smoking seems like a far more important thing that any theoretical differences in CD4 cell count.
I'm recommending to all of my patients who do smoke that they work closely with their care providers to develop a non-judgmental plan to reduce and quite tobacco.
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