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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


WAWERU, P et al. The prevalence of smoking and the knowledge of smoking hazards and smoking cessation strategies among HIV-positive patients in Johannesburg, South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2013, vol.103, n.11, pp.858-860. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND: While the detrimental effects of smoking among HIV-positive patients have been well documented, there is a paucity of data regarding cigarette smoking prevalence among these patients in South Africa (SA). OBJECTIVES: To establish the frequency, demographics, knowledge of harmful effects, and knowledge of smoking cessation strategies among HIV-positive patients in Johannesburg, SA. METHODS: We conducted a prospective cross-sectional survey using a structured questionnaire to interview HIV-positive patients attending the HIV Clinic at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital between 1 July and 31 October 2011. RESULTS: Of 207 HIV-positive patients attending an antiretroviral therapy (ART) roll-out clinic, 31 (15%) were current smokers (23.2% of males and 7.4% of females) and a further 45 (21.7%) were ex-smokers. Most of the current smokers (30/31 patients) indicated their wish to quit smoking, and among the group as a whole, most patients were aware of the general (82.1%) and HIV-related (77.8%) risks of smoking and of methods for quitting smoking. Despite this, however, most (62.3%) were not aware of who they could approach for assistance and advice. CONCLUSIONS: Given the relatively high prevalence of current and ex-smokers among HIV-positive patients, there is a need for the introduction of smoking-cessation strategies and assistance at ART roll-out clinics in SA.

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