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HIV infection and suicide risk: an epidemiological inquiry among male homosexuals in Switzerland.

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Department of Adult Psychiatry, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.


Conflicting results have been published about suicidality among HIV+ subjects; part of the alleged increased risk may be linked to premorbid risk factors such as drug addiction and homosexuality. In order to cope with these confounding factors, we assessed the degree of suicidal ideation in a sample of Swiss male homo- and bisexuals, comparing HIV- and HIV+ subjects. A total of 164 subjects returned a self-administered, home-completed questionnaire, which had been circulated among homosexuals in the French speaking part of Switzerland. Suicidal ideation was assessed through Pöldinger's scale. Serostatus was known for 149 subjects, among whom 65 were HIV+. A high rate of suicide attempts was found among homosexuals, both HIV- and HIV+. Scores on Pöldinger's scale are significantly, though moderately, higher among HIV+ subjects, and this finding seems to be a direct consequence of HIV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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