Depressive Symptoms at HIV Testing and Two-Year All-Cause Mortality Among Men Who Inject Drugs in Vietnam

Sara N. Levintow, Brian W. Pence, Tran Viet Ha, Nguyen Le Minh, Teerada Sripaipan, Carl A. Latkin, Pham The Vu, Vu Minh Quan, Constantine Frangakis, Vivian F. Go

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


People who inject drugs (PWID) with HIV experience an elevated risk of death. A potentially important determinant of survival is the high burden of depression. This study examined the relationship of depressive symptoms at HIV testing with 2-year all-cause mortality among newly diagnosed HIV-positive PWID in Vietnam. At HIV testing, 141 PWID (42%) experienced severe depressive symptoms, and over the 2 years following diagnosis, 82 PWID (24%) died. Controlling for potential confounders, the 2-year risk of death among those with depressive symptoms was 9.7% (95% CI − 1.2, 20.6%) higher than the risk among those without depressive symptoms. This increased risk of mortality for PWID with depressive symptoms was relatively consistent throughout the 2-year period: at 6, 12, and 18 months, the risk difference was 12.6% (5.5–19.7%), 13.9% (4.6–23.2%), and 11.0% (0.9–21.1%), respectively. HIV diagnosis may provide an important opportunity for depression screening and treatment, subsequently improving survival in this key population. Trial registry: NCT01689545.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-616
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS and behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 15 2019


  • Depression
  • HIV
  • Injection drug use
  • Mortality
  • Vietnam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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