Suicidal Ideation in HIV-infected persons in South Africa

Globally, suicide and HIV/AIDS remain two of the greatest healthcare issues, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where approximately 85% of suicides occur. Every year, more than 800,000 people die from suicide; this roughly corresponds to one death every 40 seconds, and the WHO estimates that by 2020 the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds. HIV/AIDS patients in South Africa have a higher suicide risk than the general population and an increased frequency and severity of suicidal ideation depending on the different intervals in the continuum of HIV disease progression.Several studies have observed a relationship between the increase in suicide and HIV in South Africa, but due to the paucity of empirical data, this relationship remains inconclusive. Suicide in HIV-infected persons is multifactorial.Despite the introduction of antiretroviral therapy (ART), the suicide rate remains more than three times higher among HIV-infected persons than in the general population. Although international findings on the correlation between suicide and HIV/AIDS are diverse, results show compelling evidence to screen for suicide risk and intervene as early as possible

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