Smoking represents an important health risk for people living with HIV (PLHIV). Low adherence to smoking cessation pharmacotherapy may limit treatment effectiveness. In this study, 158 participants recruited from three HIV care centers in New York City were randomized to receive 12-weeks of varenicline (Chantix) either alone as standard care (SC) or in combination with text message (TM) support or TM plus cell phone-delivered adherence-focused motivational and behavioral therapy (ABT). Generalized linear mixed-effect models found a significant decline in varenicline adherence from week 1-12 across treatment groups. At 12-weeks, the probability of smoking abstinence was significantly higher in SC+TM+ABT than in SC. The study demonstrates the feasibility of delivering adherence-focused interventions to PLHIV who smoke. Findings suggest intensive behavioral support is an important component of an effective smoking cessation intervention for this population, and a focus on improving adherence self-efficacy may lead to more consistent adherence and higher smoking abstinence.
Combining text messaging and telephone counseling to increase varenicline adherence and smoking abstinence among cigarette smokers living with HIV: A randomized controlled study
AIDS and Behavior, 21 (7), 1964-1974. doi: 10.1007/s10461-016-1538-z. PMCID: PMC5554578.