Suicidal Ideation is Associated with Limited Engagement in HIV Care

E. Byrd Quinlivan, Bradley N. Gaynes, Jennifer S. Lee, Amy D. Heine, Kristen Shirey, Malaika Edwards, Riddhi Modi, James Willig, Brian W. Pence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


PHQ-9 data from persons living with HIV (PLWH, n = 4099) being screened for depression in three clinics in the southeastern USA were used to determine the prevalence of suicidal ideation (SI). SI was reported by 352 (8.6 %); associated with <3 years since HIV diagnosis (1.69; 95 %CI 1.35, 2.13), and HIV RNA >50 copies/ml (1.70, 95 %CI 1.35, 2.14). Data from PLWH enrolled in a depression treatment study were used to determine the association between moderate-to-high risk SI (severity) and SI frequency reported on PHQ-9 screening. Over forty percent of persons reporting that SI occurred on “more than half the days” (by the PHQ-9) were assessed as having a moderate-to-high risk for suicide completion during the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview. SI, including moderate-to-high risk SI, remains a significant comorbid problem for PLWH who are not fully stabilized in care (as indicated by detectable HIV RNA or HIV diagnosis for less than 3 years).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1699-1708
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS and behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • HIV
  • Linkage to care
  • PHQ-9
  • Retention in care
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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