To the Editor.
—The interesting study by Halsey et al1 showed an association between smoking and an increased risk of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in Haitian women. We would like to add a few comments to the authors' discussion of their findings.The authors investigated the risk of HIV infection among "women who reported during the first interview that they had ever smoked." Presumably, every smoker in this case included current and former smokers. The authors did not report the percentage of ever smokers in their study who were former smokers. The observation that 29 (33%) of the 89 smokers at the first interview had stopped smoking by the second interview implies that a substantial proportion of the smokers at the first interview may have been former smokers.If the risk of HIV infection declines after smoking cessation—as do the risks of most smoking-related diseases2—the
Davis RM, Samet JM. HIV Infection and Smoking Behavior. JAMA. 1992;268(12):1539. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490120053019