Background: Tobacco smoking is common in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected patients from industrialised countries. In West Africa, few data concerning tobacco consumption exist.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of the International Epidemiological Database to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) network in West Africa was conducted. Health workers administered a questionnaire assessing tobacco and cannabis consumption among patients receiving antiretroviral treatment. Regular smokers were defined as current smokers who smoked >1 cigarette per day for >or=1 year.
Results: Overall, 2920 patients were enrolled in three countries. The prevalence of ever smokers and regular smokers were respectively 46.2% (95%CI 42.8-49.5) and 15.6% (95%CI 13.2-18.0) in men and 3.7% (95%CI 2.9-4.5) and 0.6% (95%CI 0.3-0.9) in women. Regular smoking was associated with being from Côte d'Ivoire or Mali compared to Benin (OR 4.6, 95%CI 2.9-7.3 and 7.7, 95%CI 4.4-13.6), severely impaired immunological status at highly active antiretroviral treatment initiation (OR 1.5, 95%CI 1.1-2.2) and history of tuberculosis (TB; OR 1.8, 95%CI 1.1-3.0).
Conclusion: There are marked differences in smoking prevalence among these West African countries. This survey approach also provides proof of the association between cigarette smoking and TB in HIV-infected patients, a major public health issue in this part of the world.