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People Living 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, or 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 dangerous lung infection.

Smoking is also more common among people living with HIV than among the entire U.S. population.

Nearly one in five Americans smokes cigarettes. Smoking is estimated to be at least two times higher among people living with HIV.

For More Information

  • Detailed Statistics Learn about smoking in specific populations and the current rates of cigarette smoking in the United States.

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Real Stories: People Living With HIV

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

BrianMeet 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 our Real Stories section.

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Quitting Help

To get started right now, see our I'm Ready to Quit! area, featuring a Quit Guide and an additional Quitting Resources page.

You can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
Quitline coaches can answer questions, help you develop a quit plan, and provide support.

Quit-smoking treatments may be free or lower in price through insurance, health plans, or clinics. State Medicaid programs cover quit-smoking treatments. While the coverage varies by state, all states cover some treatments for at least some Medicaid enrollees.

Medicare currently covers two quit attempts per year and up to four face-to-face counseling sessions per attempt.

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Brian overcame tough health problems related to HIV, but nearly lost his life because of smoking cigarettes.

"Smoking is something that you do have control over. You can stop. And it's worth your life to stop smoking."