Suicidal ideation among HIV+ former blood and/or plasma donors in rural China

AIDS Care. 2010 Aug;22(8):946-54. doi: 10.1080/09540120903511016.


Suicidal ideation is life-threatening and is prevalent among people living with HIV (PLWH). A dearth of such studies was conducted in China. This study investigated the prevalence of suicidal ideation and associated factors among PLWH who were former blood and/or plasma donors (FBPD) in a rural county in central China. Prospective respondents were randomly selected from a local registry; 176 PLWH who were FBPD joined the study. With informed consent, these PLWH and their spouse were interviewed separately and anonymously. Respectively, 34 and 8% of the sampled (index) PLWH self-reported having suicidal ideation and making a suicidal attempt in the last year. The multivariate analyses results showed that the index PLWH's Physical Function subscale score of the Medical Outcomes Study HIV Health Survey scale (Odds ratio (OR)=6.67, 95% CI=1.69-26.27, <or=25 percentiles against >75 percentiles), the Depression subscale score of the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scales (DASS; OR=9.26, 95% CI=1.32-64.77), and the spouse's Depression subscale score of the DASS (OR=7.64, 95% CI=1.37-42.77) were independently associated with the index PLWH's suicidal ideation. HIV-related variables (e.g., duration of diagnosis, treatment and side effects) and perceived discrimination of the index PLWH, and HIV status of the PLWH's spouse, were not significant factors. Depression is a risk factor for suicides. Moreover, depression may be contagious and the depression status of the spouse also matters. Treatments for depression and prevention intervention for suicides targeting PLWH in rural China are not readily available. Such services are greatly warranted and need to be provided to both the PLWH and his/her spouse.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Donors / psychology*
  • Blood Donors / statistics & numerical data
  • China / epidemiology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • HIV Seropositivity / epidemiology
  • HIV Seropositivity / psychology
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Health
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Young Adult