Introduction Worldwide the prevalence of smoking among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is elevated compared to the general population. Tobacco use remains one of the major cardiovascular risk factors and its use in antiretroviral (ARV) treated human immunodeficiency virus infected people may lead to activation of immune cells and rendering them more susceptible to HIV. We determined the prevalence of and factors associated with tobacco use in an antiretroviral treated HIV infected congolease people.
Methods The study was a cross-sectional, conducted in Kinshasa, Democratic republic of Congo(DRC). We randomly selected patients and 9 support structures for PLHIV, from May 2015 to August 2015. Socio-demographic, tobacco and alcohol use data were collected using World Health Organisation stepwise approach to surveillance (STEPS) questionnaire. The Chi-square test was used to compare categorical variables between tobacco users and non tobacco users. The multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine the predictors of tobacco use status.
Results On a global active file of 5724 PLHIV, 400 were included.Of 400 ARV treated HIV infected participants, 309 (77.3%) were females and 91 (22.7%) were males. The mean age of participants was 43 years. About 32 (8%) of participants were tobacco users. A higher proportion of females than males (59.4% versus 40.6%, p=0.521) used tobacco. Food insecurity (AHR: 3.349; 95% CI: 1.378–8.142; p=0.008) and alcohol consumption (AHR 3,826; 95% CI:1,583–9,249; p=0,003) were significant independent predictors of tobacco use.
Conclusion Tobacco use among ARV treated HIV infected people was common. Food insecurity and alcohol consumption were the risk factors for tobacco use. There is need to scale up the awareness on how tobacco use, apart from being a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, interferes with viral suppression despite treatment with antiretroviral drugs.