HIV/AIDS and Smoking

Smiling manWhat is HIV?

HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus. It attacks the immune system.

  • Over time, the body can’t fight illness anymore.
  • If that happens, HIV leads to AIDS, the final stage of HIV.
  • Adults with HIV/AIDS smoke at higher rates than adults who do not have it.

Signs of HIV

Symptoms can include:

  • Weight loss.
  • Fever.
  • Night sweats.
  • Feeling tired.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Mouth Sores.
  • Swollen glands in armpits, groin, or neck.
  • Memory loss.
  • Low mood.

Why Quit Smoking

If you have HIV/AIDS and quit smoking, you are less likely to have:

  • Thrush (a mouth fungus).
  • Hairy leukoplakia (white mouth sores).
  • Lung infections, like pneumonia, bronchitis, and tuberculosis.
  • Vision loss.
  • Gum disease and tooth loss.

Other Reasons to Quit

More motivation to quit can include:

More vitamins C, D, and E in the body that help fight illness.

  • Less side effects from HIV drugs.
  • Fewer HIV symptoms.
  • HIV drugs work better to keep the virus under control.
  • Better blood flow and oxygen in body, which makes it hard for HIV to get worse.

Content from: University of California-San Diego