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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 196-200

Suicidality among HIV patients in a treatment center in Kaduna metropolis, Nigeria


1 Department of Psychiatry, Federal Medical Centre, Gusau, Zamfara, Nigeria
2 Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Barnawa, Kaduna, Nigeria
3 Department of Psychology, Ekiti State University, Ekiti, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Aremu Saad Bolakale
Federal Medical Centre, Gusau, Zamfara
Nigeria
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DOI: 10.4103/1118-8561.196362

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Background: Human immunodeficiency disease (HIV/AIDS) is a chronic medical condition with many psychological complications, one of which is suicide behavior. Many studies of this behavior have been reported in the developed countries while only a few in Africa. One, therefore, wonders whether this behavior is not found or rare in African people. If found, how common are they in a treatment center in Kaduna metropolis? Aim: The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of suicidality among HIV/AIDS patients receiving care at AIDS relief center of St. Gerard's Catholic Hospital, Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria. Methods: The study was a cross-sectional, descriptive study involving 250 HIV-positive patients who can read and write in English selected through a convenience sampling. A self-administered sociodemographic questionnaire was given to the patients to fill after receiving written consent. Thereafter, all the participating patients were interviewed for suicidality using suicidality module of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview. Results: There were 96 males (38.4%) and 154 females (61.6%) who participated in the study. The age range of the patients was 18-64 years with a mean of 35.58 (standard deviation + 8.8). The prevalence of suicidality among these patients was 16%. Low risk of suicidality was found among 26 (65%) of the forty patients who had suicidality. Moderate risk was found in 5 (12.5%) while 9 (22.5%) patients had high risk of suicidality. Conclusion: The implication of this finding is that suicidality as one of the psychological consequences of HIV/AIDS is found among these infected patients in Nigeria. Therefore, there is need for prompt recognition and prevention of suicidal behavior among these patients.


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