HIV and Tobacco Use

Our work in tobacco use and HIV evaluates the mechanisms and outcomes of tobacco use among people with HIV (PWH), a population with disproportionately high smoking rates. Coupled with the widespread use of antiretroviral therapy – which has substantially reduced mortality rates – PWH actually lose more life years to tobacco use than to HIV.

Dr. Ashare is currently conducting three research projects that address this problem from three perspectives to better understand: (1) the mechanisms that underlie high smoking rates; (2) why existing treatments are less effective and relapse rates are higher among PWH; and (3) how HIV and smoking may act synergistically and ultimately lead to worse clinical outcomes including cancer and impaired immune function. These translational studies incorporate biological (e.g., nicotine metabolism, inflammation), behavioral, and cognitive assessments address these questions. 

Selected Publications

This work is supported by:

Funding from the National Institutes of Health

  • R01-DA042682 (Ashare, PI)
  • R01-DA044906 (Ashare/Collman, MPI)
  • R01 HL151292 (Gross/Ashare, MPI)

Core support from

  • Penn Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)
  • Penn Mental Health AIDS Research Center (PMHARC)