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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2013 Mar 1;62(3):311-6. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e31827ce513.

Risks and predictors of current suicidality in HIV-infected heroin users in treatment in Yunnan, China: a controlled study.

Author information

1
HIV Neurobehavioral Research Program (HNRP), HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA 92103, USA. hjin@ucsd.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Suicide is an important public health problem in China. Elsewhere, injection drug use and HIV infection have independently been associated with suicidality, but research has often overlooked these high-risk groups in China. We determined the frequency and predictors of suicidal ideas in Chinese HIV-infected (HIV(+)) and HIV-uninfected (HIV(-)) heroin injection drug users (IDUs) in treatment and a control sample. We hypothesized that rates of suicidal ideas would be significantly higher among IDUs compared with controls and highest among HIV IDUs.

METHOD:

We assessed suicidal ideas within the past 2 weeks in HIV(+) (n = 204) and HIV(-) (n = 202) heroin IDUs in methadone treatment in Yunnan, a province at the intersection of the heroin and HIV epidemics, and in demographically matched HIV non-drug-using controls (n = 201).

RESULTS:

Rates of suicidality were higher in IDUs than controls, but there was no additive effect of HIV infection (HIV(+) IDU: 43.1%; HIV(-) IDU: 37.1%; controls: 8.5%). Among HIV(+) IDUs, suicidality was associated most strongly with a combination of prior history of major depression, low perceived social support, and experience of HIV-relevant stress, but not with AIDS diagnosis. Among HIV(-) IDUs, suicidality was associated with prior history of major depressive or alcohol use disorder. Less than 25% of IDUs with suicidality had histories of mood or alcohol use diagnoses.

CONCLUSION:

Because suicidal ideation is frequent in IDUs in China, regardless of HIV status, and is not fully accounted for by past psychiatric history, additional research may be warranted.

PMID:
23196829
PMCID:
PMC3975910
DOI:
10.1097/QAI.0b013e31827ce513
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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