Elevated Risk of Suicidal Ideation in HIV-Positive Persons

L. Schlebusch, R. D. Govender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Globally, suicide and HIV/AIDS remain two of the greatest healthcare issues, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Several studies have observed a relationship between suicidal behaviour and HIV/AIDS. Materials and Methods. The main objective of this research was to determine the prevalence of elevated risk of suicidal ideation in HIV-positive persons immediately following voluntary HIV counselling and testing (VCT). The study sample consisted of adult volunteers attending the VCT clinic at a university-affiliated, general state hospital. Participants completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, Beck's Hopeless Scale, and Beck's Depression Inventory. Results. A significantly elevated risk of suicidal ideation was found in 83.1% of the patients who tested seropositive. Despite a wide age range in the cohort studied, the majority of patients with suicidal ideation were males in the younger age group (age < 30 years), consistent with the age-related spread of the disease and an increase in suicidal behaviour in younger people. Relevant associated variables are discussed. Conclusion. The results serve as important markers that could alert healthcare professionals to underlying suicide risks in HIV-positive patients. It is recommended that screening for elevated risk of suicidal ideation and prevention of suicidal behaviour should form a routine aspect of comprehensive patient care at VCT clinics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number609172
JournalDepression Research and Treatment
Volume2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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