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AIDS Care. 2010 Oct;22(10):1212-20. doi: 10.1080/09540121003623701.

Prevalence and correlates of lifetime suicidal ideation among HIV-infected male inmates in Taiwan.

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Department of Community Medicine, Taipei City Hospital, Taiwan.


The purpose of this study was to explore the prevalence and correlates of lifetime suicidal ideation (SI) among HIV-infected male inmates. All participants in seven prisons, comprising roughly 20% of all HIV-infected male inmates in Taiwan, were stratified by geographic location and surveyed using a self-administered, anonymous questionnaire. The five-item Brief Symptom Rating Scale (BSRS-5) was used on 535 participants to measure various dimensions of psychological distress. Seven questions regarding lifetime psychiatric symptoms were also added to the questionnaire. Questionnaire results in this sample revealed that 23.7% had suffered depressive symptoms for at least two weeks, 20.6% experienced serious anxiety or tension symptoms, 12.5% had serious thoughts of suicide symptoms, and 4.1% had made a suicide attempt. Results of multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that SI was significantly related to (1) recent psychological distress, and (2) lifetime experience of depression for two weeks or more, serious anxiety or tension, or hallucinations. Since nearly 70% of the respondents reported at least one psychiatric symptom in their lifetime, it would seem important to target HIV-infected male inmates with mental health interventions and suicide prevention.

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