AIDS researchers continue to stretch the limits in finding excuses to spend some of the billions of dollars worth of funding being made available to them. Lately, the anti-smoking forces have been rallying to compete for a piece of the HIV research pie.
This morning’s news brought this “study” about the lung damage caused by smoking to my attention. Apparently “HIV-positive” are three times more likely to smoke cigarettes than the average population. The research was published in the PubMed approved, peer-reviewed journal AIDS Research and Therapy.
The study’s conclusions, published as a provisional article:
Cumulative cigarette consumption was associated with worse lung function; however the loss of %FEV1 did not accelerate in HIV-positive population compared to the general population. Current smokers had higher odds of respiratory symptoms than non-smokers, while former smokers had the same odds of respiratory symptoms as non-smokers. Cigarette consumption was likely associated with more COPD cases in HIV-positive population; however more participants and longer follow up would be needed to estimate the effect of smoking on COPD development. Effective smoking cessation strategies are required for HIV-positive subjects.
- Smokers have worse lung function than non-smokers
- The lung function of former smokers is about the same as non-smokers.
- Being “HIV-positive” makes no difference in these findings.
- “HIV-positives” would benefit from quitting smoking.
- Send more money for us to study this phenomenon further.
As a moderator at the forums at Questioning AIDS, I often read personal accounts of poz people being put on ARVs after presenting to their doctors or a hospital with respiratory distress. Inevitably, these folks are presumptively diagnosed with pneumocystis pneumonia, an “AIDS-defining” infection, without any confirmatory testing.
If it is true that poz people are three times as likely to smoke, then is it a no-brainer that this group is going to be far more likely to present with respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia or lung cancer. Heck, in the bizarre world of HIV, smoking is even blamed for causing dementia.
In 2006, another peer reviewed study reported that smoking alone may actually be an independent risk factor for testing “positive”.
My initial takeaway from this undoubtedly expensive study is that if you have tested positive on the Gallo polyreactive protein test (aka the “AIDS” test), and you are trying to remain healthy without resorting to a lifetime of chemotherapy, quit smoking immediately. While you’re at it, quit all recreational drugs, including alcohol; eliminate all environmental toxins around you; eliminate processed foods and refined sugar from your diet; and incorporate as many other common sense healthy practices into your life as you possibly can.
One of the earliest actions I took when I started addressing my own health problems was to quit smoking cigarettes. I even remember the date: March 13, 2001, my father’s birthday the year after he died of COPD.
I didn’t need a research study to tell me it was the right thing to do if I wanted to improve my health.