Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 1, 2013 - Volume 62 - Issue 3 > Risks and Predictors of Current Suicidality in HIV-Infected...
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes:
doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e31827ce513
Clinical Science

Risks and Predictors of Current Suicidality in HIV-Infected Heroin Users in Treatment in Yunnan, China: A Controlled Study

Jin, Hua MD*,†; Atkinson, J. Hampton MD†,*; Duarte, Nichole A. PhD*; Yu, Xin MD; Shi, Chuan MD; Riggs, Patricia K. BS*; Li, Jianhua MD§; Gupta, Saurabh PhD*; Wolfson, Tanya MA; Knight, Adam F. BA*; Franklin, Donald BS*; Letendre, Scott MD*; Wu, Zunyou MD, PhD; Grant, Igor MD*; Heaton, Robert K. PhD*; for the HNRC China Collaboration Group

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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.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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