Suicide Risk Among Persons Living With HIV

Abstract [from journal]

Persons living with HIV (PLWH) are significantly more likely to die by suicide compared to the general population. This is the first study to examine the impact of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder (MDD), insomnia, and substance use disorders on suicidal ideation/behavior among PLWH using electronic medical record (EMR) data. We also evaluated the mutual influence of interactions between PTSD and substance use disorders on suicide risk, consistent with the substance abuse, violence exposure, and HIV/AIDS "SAVA" syndemic model. Participants (n = 2336) were HIV+ individuals recruited through the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). Participants provided informed consent for extraction of their EMR. As hypothesized, univariate analyses revealed that PTSD, MDD, insomnia, alcohol and other substance use disorders (cocaine abuse and cocaine dependence, opioid abuse and dependence, cannabis abuse, other psychoactive substance abuse and dependence, and polysubstance use disorder) were each positively associated with suicidal ideation/behavior. Also as hypothesized, a multivariable analysis found that alcohol and cocaine dependence, MDD, and PTSD were significant predictors of suicidal ideation/behavior. Contrary to hypotheses, none of the interactions between PTSD and substance use disorders were significantly associated with suicidal ideation/behavior.