People living with HIV (PLHIV) have higher rates of suicidal behavior than the general population. This study assessed suicidal behavior (ideation and/or attempts, ever and in the past 12 months) among PLHIV receiving outpatient HIV medical care in Estonia and associations between suicidal behavior and psychological treatment. The cross-sectional study collected data from January to November 2013 using a self-report questionnaire. Eight hundred PLHIV participated, 39 % (n = 306) of whom had been suicidal. Lifetime prevalence was 36 % for suicidal ideation and 20 % for attempts. Younger age, incarceration, having ever abused alcohol and also injected drugs, having lived with HIV for more than 10 years, and being depressed were associated with lifetime suicidal behavior. Suicidal behavior within the past 12 months was reported by 20 % (n = 156) of respondents. Of these, 27 % received psychological treatment (counseling and/or psychotherapy), 20 % had taken antidepressants, and 49 % sedatives. Individuals perceiving a need for treatment were significantly more likely to receive psychological treatment when experiencing suicidal behavior (OR 25.65, 95 % CI 2.92-225.47). In conclusion, suicidal behavior is frequent among PLHIV but psychological treatment is not often received. One of the barriers to treatment is patients’ lack of perceived need for help.
Suicidal Behavior Among People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in Medical Care in Estonia and Factors Associated with Receiving Psychological Treatment.