Introduction. Cigarette smoking
is extremely common among persons living with HIV
(PLWH) in the United States, and it has emerged as a leading killer in this group. No tobacco
treatment studied to date has demonstrated long-term
This was a follow-up study of PLWH adult smokers who completed a randomized controlled trial of Positively Smoke Free (PSF) group therapy
from 2014 to 2017. Participants from two of the three trial sites were recalled to complete a long-term
follow-up assessment, at least one year after initial enrollment.
Of the 342 candidates for this follow-up study, 11 had died prior to our attempts to contact them, and 194 of the remaining 331 (58.6%) completed the late follow-up assessment. Most (91.2%) of the remaining candidates could not be contacted despite numerous attempts. At a mean of 38.1 months after initial study enrollment, employing an intention-to-treat, lost to follow-up=still smoking
(worst case scenario) strategy, 12.7% of group therapy
vs. 6.6% of control participants had biochemically-verified 7-day point-prevalence abstinence, OR=2.06 (95% CI:0.96-4.41), P=0.06, and 10.3% of group therapy
vs. 4.2% of control participants had biochemically-verified 12-month point-prevalence abstinence, OR=2.61 (95% CI: 1.05-6.47, P=0.03). Improvements in abstinence self-efficacy in the PSF group observed in the original study were sustained through late follow-up.
Targeted group therapy
for PLWH smokers was associated with increased cessation and sustained improvements in abstinence self-efficacy at a mean of more than three years of follow-up. This is the first trial to show long-term
efficacy of tobacco
treatment for PLWH.