Programs and Speakers

QUIT Smoking Cessation Group

This is a six week course for all people living with HIV (PLHIV) who wish to stop smoking. Participants can complete the course in a group or one-on-one with a peer support worker in person or through a webinar format. Living Positive Victoria offers this course in partnership with Quit Victoria.


Smoking has been shown to significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease for PLHIV. There is also a continuing body of evidence showing the negative impact that smoking has on the immune system. Evidence shows that stopping smoking is one of the most important things a person living with HIV can do to drastically reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.

Data from the Australian HIV Futures 8 study shows that 213 participants (24.3%) who indicated they currently smoke daily and 323 (36.9%) who had previously smoked daily but quit. The 2013 National Household Drug Survey indicated that 12.8% of Australians smoke daily (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2014). The data from both of these studies are higher than figures for the Australian population. Also, research has identified many contributing factors as significant barriers to successfully quitting smoking for people with HIV. These include high levels of depression, social isolation and stress of having a stigmatising disease as well as low expectations around long-term mortality (Mammary et al. 2002; Reynolds et al. 2004; Tesoriero et al. 2007).

Another significant negative impact for PLHIV who smoke is the cost. According to the HIV Futures study, 31% of respondents live below the poverty line. As with the incidence of smoking this figure is far higher than the general population. Assisting people with HIV in improving their heath while at the same time improving their finances, can have significant benefits.

This comprehensive course covers eight components over six sessions:

  • Understanding smoking and quitting
  • Planning to Quit
  • Health effects of smoking and quitting methods
  • Coping without cigarettes physically
  • Coping without cigarettes emotionally
  • Staying stopped in the short term
  • Staying stopped in the long term
  • Enjoying being a non-smoker forever

To make a booking into the next QUIT course please contact us on 03 9863 8733 or or submit the form below.

QUIT smoking cessation inquiry

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