Relationship of Smoking with the CD4+ T cell count and Viral Load in Patients with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus in the HIV health care center at the Hospital Regional Universitario José María Cabral y Báez in the Dominican Republic: a Cross-sectional Descriptive Study
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Objective: To evaluate the relationship between tobacco use and viral load and CD4+ T cell count in HIV patients. Results: The research conducted was a descriptive study of 317 patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), 18 years old and above, who attended the “Unidad de Atención Integral” (UAI) at the Hospital Regional Universitario José María Cabral y Báez, in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Of those 317 patients, 172 were included in the data analysis. It was found that a 77.3% of smokers had a CD4+ T cell count equal to or below 250 cells/mm3. 75% of smokers had a viral load equal to or greater than 400 copies/ml. In addition, 82.9% of nonsmokers presented with a viral load below 400 copies/ml. The smokers were more likely to have a viral load equal to or greater than 400 copies/ml (OR = 6.285, P < 0.001), in comparison with nonsmokers. Patients younger than 45 years old were more likely to have a viral load equal to or above 400 copies/ml compared to older patients (OR = 3.313, P = 0.024).