Persons with HIV

Know the Facts

If you have HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS, smoking is especially dangerous to your health. If you smoke:
  • You’re more likely to develop the harmful consequences of smoking than people without HIV. These illnesses include cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
  • You’re more likely to develop HIV-related infections than a nonsmoker with HIV. These illnesses include thrush (a mouth infection) and Pneumocystis pneumonia (a lung infection).
  • For people whose HIV is effectively treated, smoking is the main contributor to preventable risk of illness and death.
Smoking rates among persons living with HIV are much higher than in the general population. In 2009, smoking rates among people receiving medical care for HIV were more than double that of the entire U.S. adult population (42.4% vs. 20.6%).

People living with HIV are also less likely to quit smoking than the general adult population.

*Sources for cigarette smoking prevalence:

For More Information or to learn about smoking among specific populations and the current rates of cigarette smoking in the United States, check out these detailed statistics.

Real Stories: People Living with HIV Featured in Tips®

Learn the real stories of people living with HIV who have diseases and disabilities related to smoking.

Meet Brian

Brian, age 45, lives in California and has HIV. At 14, he started smoking. At 43, smoking, combined with HIV, caused him to have a stroke. He quit that day and hopes to regain full use of his right hand.




Learn more about all Tips® participants in the CDC Real Stories section.

Information provided from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other Resources:

Find Contacts in Your Area

The Southwest PA Wellness Partners Coalition is a multi-county effort created to address the diverse issue of tobacco use in the southwestern health district of Pennsylvania.

Learn More