HIV health care providers’ perspectives on smoking behavior among PLHIV and smoking cessation service provision in HIV clinics in Uganda

Kellen Nyamurungi Namusisi, Frances Thirlway, Noreen Dadirai Mdege, Joseph Matovu

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Introduction: Integration of smoking cessation interventions into HIV care can play a crucial role in reducing the growing burden of disease due to smoking among people living with HIV (PLHIV). However, there is a dearth of information on HIV care providers’ perspectives towards integrating smoking cessation interventions into HIV care programs. We explored HIV health care providers’ perceptions on the smoking behaviour among PLHIV, and the provision of smoking cessation services to PLHIV who smoke within HIV care services in Uganda.
Methods: Semi structured face-to-face qualitative interviews were conducted with 12 HIV care providers between October and November 2019. Data were collected on perceptions on smoking among HIV-positive patients enrolled in HIV care, support provided to PLHIV who smoke to quit and integrating smoking cessation services into HIV care programs. Data were analysed deductively following a thematic framework approach.
Results: Findings show that: a); HIV care providers in HIV clinics had low knowledge on the prevalence and magnitude of smoking among PLHIV who attended the clinics b) HIV care providers did not routinely screen HIV-positive patients for smoking and offered sub-optimal smoking cessation services; c) HIV care providers had a positive attitude towards integration of tobacco smoking cessation services into HIV care programs but called for support in form of guidelines, capacity building and strengthening of data collection and use as part of the integration process.
Conclusion: Our study shows that HIV care providers did not routinely screen for tobacco use among PLHIV and offered suboptimal cessation support to smoking patients but they have a positive attitude towards the integration of tobacco smoking into HIV care programs. These findings suggest a favourable ground for integrating tobacco smoking cessation interventions to into HIV care programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number60
JournalTobacco Prevention and Cessation
Issue numberSeptember
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2021

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