Background: Cigarette smoking presents a salient risk for HIV-positive populations. This study is among the first to examine smoking prevalence, nicotine dependence, and associated factors in a large sample of HIV-positive patients receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Vietnam. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 1133 HIV-positive people was conducted from January to September 2013 at 8 ART clinics in Hanoi (the capital) and Nam Dinh (a rural area). Smoking history and nicotine dependence (Fagerstrom Test of Nicotine Dependence-FTND) were assessed by participant self-report. Logistic regression and Tobit linear regression were performed to identify factors significantly associated with smoking outcomes. Results: Prevalence of current, former, and never smokers in the sample was 36.1%, 9.5%, and 54.4%, respectively. The current smoking proportion was higher in males (59.7%) than females (2.6%). The mean FTND score was 3.6 (SD = 2.1). Males were more likely to currently smoke than females (OR = 23.4, 95% CI = 11.6- 47.3). Individuals with problem drinking (OR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.1 - 2.9) and ever drug use (OR = 3.7, 95%CI = 2.5-5.7) were more likely to be current smokers. Older age and currently feeling pain were associated with lower nicotine dependence. Conversely, receiving care in Nam Dinh, greater alcohol consumption, ever drug use, and a longer smoking duration were associated with greater nicotine dependence. Conclusions: Given the high prevalence of smoking among HIV-positive patients, smoking screening and cessation support should be offered at ART clinics in Vietnam. Risk factors (i.e., substance use) linked with smoking behavior should be considered in prevention programs.
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