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Age, Gender and Suicidal Ideation Following Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing
Department of Behavioural Medicine, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 4001, South Africa
Department of Family Medicine, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 4001, South Africa
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 December 2011; in revised form: 26 January 2012 / Accepted: 6 February 2012 / Published: 10 February 2012
Abstract: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of suicidal ideation in patients who were tested for HIV-infection and whether along with their HIV status, age and gender influenced their risk for suicidal ideation. The sample consisted of 189 patients who attended a voluntary HIV counseling and testing clinic (VCT) at a general state hospital in Durban, South Africa. Their mean age at baseline was 34.2 years, with an age range of between 16–79 years. Seropositivity, age and gender were significantly associated with suicidal ideation. The majority of these patients were in the younger age group, and young males had a 1.8 times higher risk for suicidal ideation than females. Although risk factors for seropositive-related suicidal ideation can be complex and multi-factorial, this study identified a young age and male gender as important high risk factors in the sample studied. It is recommended that all, but especially young male HIV-infected patients seen at a VCT clinic be screened for suicidal ideation and that early intervention to prevent subsequent suicides or suicidal attempts be included in pre- and post-test HIV counseling.
Keywords: age; gender; HIV-test results; suicidal ideation; voluntary counseling and testing
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Schlebusch, L.; Govender, R.D. Age, Gender and Suicidal Ideation Following Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 521-530.
Schlebusch L, Govender RD. Age, Gender and Suicidal Ideation Following Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2012; 9(2):521-530.
Schlebusch, Lourens; Govender, Romona Devi. 2012. "Age, Gender and Suicidal Ideation Following Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 9, no. 2: 521-530.