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

AIDS Behav. 2019 Mar;23(3):609-616. doi: 10.1007/s10461-018-2318-8.


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.

Keywords: Depression; HIV; Injection drug use; Mortality; Vietnam.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • HIV
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / complications
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / mortality*
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / psychology
  • Vietnam / epidemiology

Associated data