Little research has focused on suicidality in the era of successful antiretroviral therapy among those engaged in HIV care. We performed a study of 648 clinic patients who completed a psychological and behavioral annual assessment in 2012. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), suicidal ideation was measured by the last item of the scale. Anxiety symptoms were measured using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 questionnaire (GAD-7). HIV biomedical markers were abstracted from medical records. Suicidal ideation was reported among 13% (n = 81) of the sample. Individuals endorsing suicidality were more likely to have unsuppressed viral loads, moderate to severe anxiety symptoms and consider themselves to be homeless (p < 0.01 for all). After adjusting for confounders, homeless individuals and those endorsing moderate to severe anxiety symptoms had higher odds of reporting suicidality. Results suggest basic needs must be met to complement HIV management efforts. Furthermore, better understanding of how psychological distress symptoms are expressed and how to manage them may better inform barriers to HIV management.
- Psychological distress
- Suicidal ideation