OJMP  Vol.3 No.3 , April 2014
Suicidal Ideation among Depressed People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, West Africa
Objective: Transient suicide thoughts are common to some people throughout the course of HIV disease and often do not indicate significant risk of suicide. However, persistent suicidal thoughts with associated feelings of hopelessness and intent to die are very serious and must be assessed promptly and carefully. The aim of this study, therefore, was to examine the relationship between depression, hopelessness, psychosocial stressors and suicidal ideation in PLWHAs. Methods: This was a hospital based, cross sectional, descriptive study, of one hundred and seventy depressed adult HIV/AIDS patients of Kwara State Specialist Hospital, Ilorin. Depression and suicidal assessment were evaluated using the PHQ-9 scale. A score of >9 or any affirmative response to question 9 of the PHQ-9 scale necessitated suicidal risk assessment. The social determinant questionnaire was used to evaluate social cohesion and negative life events. Results: The prevalence of depression among the HIV/AID patient was 56.7%. Twenty nine (17.1%) were hopeless, twenty eight (16.5%) had at one time or the other thought of taking their lives, six (3.5%) had plan to take their lives. There was strong statistical association between depression, hopelessness (p-value = 0.000) thought of taking life (p-value = 0.000) and plan to take their lives (p-value = 0.030). Conclusion: The significant correlations between hopelessness, depression and suicidal ideation are important markers that should alert clinicians to underlying suicide risk in HIV-positive patients. In addition, low social cohesion and stressful life events were found to be risk factors for depression and suicide. Clinicians should routinely enquire about suicidality in PLWHAs to assist early diagnosis and intervention.

Cite this paper
Shittu, R. , Alabi, M. , Odeigah, L. , Sanni, M. , Issa, B. , Olanrewaju, A. , Sule, A. and Aderibigbe, S. (2014) Suicidal Ideation among Depressed People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, West Africa. Open Journal of Medical Psychology, 3, 262-270. doi: 10.4236/ojmp.2014.33027.
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