Quitting Tobacco When You're HIV Positive

Advances in testing and treatment have changed the landscape of HIV in our country.

Better prevention and care has made HIV a controllable, chronic disease, rather than a terminal illness, and has meant that far fewer people die from AIDS (now called HIV Stage 3).

Today, people living with HIV (or PLWH, for short) who have access to good health care and advanced medications and who follow their treatment plan can enjoy long, healthy lives.

But, smoking can threaten that balance. It's a fact that smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in Michigan and in the country as a whole. Every year, smoking causes nearly half a million deaths in the United States — more than 13,000 of them in Michigan.

PLWH are much more apt to smoke than are their peers. In fact, smoking prevalence is more than twice as high among among PLWH in Michigan than among the general population (50 percent vs. 21 percent).

The advances in HIV testing and treatment, coupled with the relatively large number of PLWH who smoke, mean that today, individuals with HIV who smoke are much more likely to die from tobacco-related illness (such as lung cancer, heart disease, or stroke) than from complications of HIV Stage 3. It's ironic. People now survive HIV, only to die from a smoking-related disease.

Because so many PLWH in the state smoke, and because smoking is such a serious threat to health, the MDHHS Tobacco Section and the MDHHS HIV Care and Prevention Section have joined forces on the Tobacco Use Reduction in People Living with HIV project.

As part of the project, MDHHS is working with 14 AIDS Service Organizations1 and five lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) agencies2 spread throughout the state to accomplish three goals:

  • improve health outcomes in PLWHA (long-term goal);
  • increase the number of tobacco quit attempts (mid-term goal); and
  • increase the use of tobacco treatment clinical practice guidelines (short-term goal).

 

 Visit our special Project Resources page to learn more about this project.

 

Contact Us:

Lynne Stauff, MPA (Project Coordinator)
Tobacco Control Program
MDHHS Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Control
e-mail: StauffL@michigan.gov
phone: 517-335-1818

Carrie Kirkpatrick, MSW
Tobacco Control Program
MDHHS Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Control
e-mail: KirkpatrickC2@michigan.gov
phone: 517-373-6522

Sheyonna Watson, MDiv, TTS
Tobacco Control Program
MDHHS Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Control
e-mail: WatsonS4@michigan.gov
phone: 517-241-6195

Dawn Marie McCune
Tobacco Control Program
MDHHS Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Control
e-mail: McCuneD1@michigan.gov
phone: 517-241-6686

 

 

 

 

1 Participating ASOs for the current fiscal year include: Central Michigan District Health Department; Community AIDS Resources and Education Services (CARES); The Grand Rapids Red Project; Great Lakes Bay Health Centers; Henry Ford Health System; Ingham County Health Department; Lansing Area AIDS Network (LAAN); Marquette County Health Department; Mercy Health Muskegon; Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center, Inc. (Bay Area Social Intervention Services, Inc., aka BASIS); UNIFIED-HIV Health and Beyond; University of Michigan Health System; Wayne State University/Children's Hospital Horizons Project; and Wellness AIDS Services, Inc.

2 Participating LGBT agencies for the current fiscal year include: Affirmations; Grand Rapids PRIDE Center; Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center; LGBT Detroit; and Perceptions.