PURPOSE: Studies in adults have shown that smokers have poorer viral and immunological responses to HAART, a greater risk of virologic rebound, a higher risk of death and a higher risk of developing AIDS. Other studies have shown an increased risk of smoking HIV-positive adults to infections. There is, however, no Paediatric data on HIV progression in passive smokers. To determine if passive cigarrette smoking is a risk factor for HIV progression in children.
METHODS: An observational, descriptive study of children attending the HIV Clinic at Tshwane District Hospital during October 2007.
RESULTS: 127 children were enrolled. 47 (37%) are living in households where adults smoke. Passive smoke exposed children had a 1.1% lower CD4 percentage than children who had no passive smoke exposure. This was not statistically significant (p=0.90 F test). Non-smoke exposed children had a slightly higher HIV stage than smoke exposed children: 2.53 vs. 2.51. This was not staistically significant (p=0.72 F test). Passive smoke exposed children, on HAART, had a 0.36 % lower CD4% than the children of non-smoking parents.
CONCLUSION: This study of HIV positive children, attending a clinic did not reveal statistically significant differences in objective measures of HIV status (CD4 count and HIV stage) between children exposed to passive cigarette smoke and those not exposed. This is in contra-distinction to adult studies. The small sample size may limit comparison in this study.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Passive cigarette smoke exposure does not appear to increase the risk of HIV disease progression in children.
DISCLOSURE: Refiloe Masekela, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information