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Logo of bmcpsycBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Psychiatry
 
BMC Psychiatry. 2012; 12: 63.
Published online Jul 12, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1471-244X-12-63
PMCID: PMC3395571
The prevalence and characteristics of suicidality in HIV/AIDS as seen in an African population in Entebbe district, Uganda
Eugene Kinyanda,corresponding author1 Susan Hoskins,2 Juliet Nakku,3 Saira Nawaz,4 and Vikram Patel5
1MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS & Senior EDCTP Fellowship, P.O. Box 49, Entebbe, Uganda
2Medical Research Council, Clinical Trials Unit, London, UK
3Butabika National Psychiatric Referral Hospital, Kampala, Uganda
4Dartmouth Institute, Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA
5London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK & Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science, London, UK
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Eugene Kinyanda: Eugene.Kinyanda/at/mrcuganda.org; Susan Hoskins: sjh/at/ctu.mrc.ac.uk; Juliet Nakku: jnakku/at/yahoo.com; Saira Nawaz: nawaz.saira/at/gmail.com; Vikram Patel: vikram.patel/at/lshtm.ac.uk
Received December 16, 2011; Accepted June 18, 2012.
Abstract
Background
Suicidality in HIV/AIDS is not only a predictor of future attempted suicide and completed suicide, it is also associated with poor quality of life and poor adherence with antiretroviral therapy. This paper examines the prevalence and correlates of suicidality in HIV/AIDS in the African nation of Uganda.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was undertaken among 618 respondents attending two HIV clinics in semi-urban Uganda. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on demographic, social, psychological and clinical factors. Correlates of suicidality were assessed using mulitvariable logistic regression.
Results
Prevalence of ‘moderate to high risk for suicidality’ (MHS) was 7.8 % and that of life-time attempted suicide was 3.9 %. Factors associated with MHS at univariate analysis were: female gender, food insecurity, increasing negative life events, high stress score, negative coping style, past psychiatric history, psychosocial impairment, diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder, generalised anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder. Factors independently associated with MHS in multivariate models were female gender, increasing negative life events, a previous psychiatric history, and major depressive disorder.
Conclusions
These results are in agreement with the stress-vulnerability model where social and psychological stressors acting on an underlying diathesis (including previous and current psychiatric morbidities) leads to suicidality. These results identify potential targets to mitigate risk through treatment of psychiatric disorders and promoting greater adaptation to living with HIV/AIDS.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Suicidality, African population, Attempted suicide, Prevalence
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