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Journal Article


Liu Y, Songtaweesin WN, Tucker JD, Sohn AH, Latkin CA, Hall BJ. Lancet HIV 2022; 9(11): e745-e746.


(Copyright © 2022, Elsevier Publishing)






Suicide is a major public health problem that affects the world's most vulnerable populations. An estimated 759 000 people died by suicide in 2019, representing 1·3% of deaths globally, or about one person every 40 s. Suicide rates are high among the 38 million people living with HIV worldwide. A 2021 meta-analysis found that people with HIV were 100 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population.

Biological, psychological, social, and structural determinants increase suicide risk among people with HIV. In addition to chronic and serious symptoms related to the disease, people with HIV often face traumatic and stressful experiences, with negative physical and mental health consequences. HIV-related stigma against key populations (ie, groups of individuals who are especially vulnerable to acquiring HIV, and for whom interventions are needed to reduce the global burden of disease associated with HIV), poor social support, and few mental health professionals willing or able to deliver appropriate care increase the risk of suicide in people with HIV. Specifically, suicide risk is often increased among sexual minorities (eg, men who have sex with men) and other groups disproportionately affected by HIV (eg, transgender women). Suicide prevention should be a crucial priority and evidence-based practices should urgently be expanded to reduce suicide risk among people with HIV and populations at risk of HIV.

Many people with HIV have mental health comorbidities that increase their risk of suicide. Mental disorders, including depression, can further decrease treatment adherence, worsen overall prognosis, and exacerbate health inequalities. Because of their bidirectional relationship and their complex social and clinical linkages, integrated services that are context specific and bring together mental health and HIV interventions should be prioritised...

Language: en


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