Tobacco and HIV topic of Thursday lecture

Shahida Shahrir Mellon

Shahida Shahrir Mellon

PORT ANGELES — Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease worldwide and is extremely harmful for people living with HIV, according to Thursday’s Studium Generale speaker.

Shahida Shahrir Mellon’s lecture, “Cigarette Smoking and HIV: Health Consequences and the Need for Cessation among People Living with HIV,” will focus on the importance of understanding that smoking cessation has emerged as a critical, modifiable component to improve the health of those with HIV.

The lecture is free and open to the public and will begin at 12:35 p.m. in The Little Theater on Peninsula College’s Port Angeles campus at 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd. It also will be live-streamed through Zoom at The meeting ID is 823 0855 7946.

Although HIV infection was previously considered to be fatal, it has increasingly become a manageable chronic disease due to advancements in HIV treatment, Mellon said.

As people with HIV live longer due to antiretroviral therapy, they now experience substantial comorbid, non-AIDS-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease and cancer.

Mellon recently received her doctorate from the University of Washington School of Public Health with research focusing on tobacco use, smoking cessation, and populations living with HIV.

Mellon currently works on several projects related to these topics for the University of Washington and the Veterans Health Administration, while living in Sequim with her family and serving on the Clallam County Board of Health.

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