PloS one 2018 02 2213(2) e0192940 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0192940
Suicide is a serious cause of mortality worldwide and is considered as a psychiatric emergency. People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) have higher rates of suicidal behavior than the general population. This study assessed the prevalence and verified the syndemic effect of psychosocial health conditions on suicidal ideation among PLWHA in China.
An institutional-based cross-sectional study was conducted from July to August 2016 in Nanjing, China, using a self-report questionnaire. Sociodemographic characteristics, infection status, psychosocial variables and suicide ideation reports of participants were collected. Logistic regressions were used to identify potential factors associated with suicidal ideation and to verify the syndemic effect of psychosocial factors. Additionally, odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were computed.
In total, four hundred sixty-five PLWHA participated, 31.6% (n = 147) of whom had suicidal ideation. The results from univariate analysis showed that older age, low education level, being married, having children, and psychosocial variables (high perceived stigma, depression, low self-esteem, social support and resilience) were significantly associated with increased suicidal ideation. Multiple logistic regression models revealed that depression (OR = 2.70, 95%CI = 1.62-4.51), perceived stigma (OR = 1.97, 95%CI = 1.17-3.32), and low social support (OR = 1.85, 95%CI = 1.08-3.20) and self-esteem (OR = 4.11, 95%CI = 2.06-8.16) were statistically significant. PLWHA with at least two psychosocial health problems were nearly 5 times more likely (OR = 4.72, 95% CI 3.11-7.17) to have had suicidal ideation.
Suicidal ideation is frequent among PLWHA in China and is consistent with prevalence estimates from abroad. Psychosocial health problems were the determining factors associated with suicidal ideation, and a syndemic effect of psychosocial health conditions was confirmed in predicting suicidal ideation. Therefore, early screening of high-risk groups for suicidal ideation and more psychosocial health care among PLWHA are needed.