Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among human immunodeficiency virus-infected adults: Differences in risk factors and their implications

Cho Ryok Kang, Ji Hwan Bang, Sung Il Cho, Kui Nam Kim, Hee Jin Lee, Bo Yeong Ryu, Soo Kyung Cho, Young Hwa Lee, Myoung Don Oh, Jong Koo Lee

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22 Scopus citations


Many studies have investigated risk factors for suicidal ideation and suicide attempt; however, most have failed to show differences in risk factors between suicidal ideation and suicide attempt among the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected population. This study was designed to identify differences in risk factors between suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among HIV-infected adults in Seoul. A face-to-face survey of 457 HIV-infected adults was conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2013. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempt. Among 422 participants, 44% had suicidal ideation, and 11% had suicide attempts. The independent risk factors for suicidal ideation were young and middle age, living with someone, history of AIDS-defining opportunistic disease, history of treatment for depression, lower social support, and psychological status. Beneficiaries of National Medical Aid, economic barriers to treatment, history of treatment for depression, and lower psychological status were independently associated with suicide attempts. Patients with HIV in Korea were treated without cost in some centers. Thus, experiencing an economic barrier to treatment might be due in part to ignorance of HIV care policies. Our findings indicate that suicide attempts are associated with socioeconomic factors and information inequality regarding medical care. In conclusion, suicidal ideation closely associated with the psychosocial factors, whereas suicide attempt demonstrates a stronger association with socioeconomic factors. Suicide prevention measures should be implemented to provide information to help HIV-infected patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-313
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 Mar 2016


  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • Seoul Metropolitan City
  • South Korea
  • suicidal ideation
  • suicide attempt

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