Suicidal ideation and attempted suicide among women living with HIV/AIDS

Nina A. Cooperman, Jane M. Simoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


The prevalence, timing, and predictors of suicidal ideation and attempted suicide were evaluated in a sample of 207 HIV-positive women in New York City. Twenty-six percent of the women reported attempting suicide since their HIV diagnosis. Of those who made an attempt, 42% acted within the first month after diagnosis and 27% acted within the first week. AIDS diagnosis, psychiatric symptoms, and physical or sexual abuse were significant positive predictors of both suicidal ideation and attempts. Contrary to expectations, having children and being employed were also significant positive predictors. Spirituality was significantly negatively associated with suicidal ideation only. These results suggest that suicide prevention measures should be implemented for HIV-positive women immediately after diagnosis. Specifically, interventions should target those with an AIDS diagnosis, psychiatric symptoms, an abuse history, children, or employment. The encouragement of spiritual connection seems to be a deterrent to suicidal thoughts and is a possible avenue for intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of behavioral medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • Suicide
  • Women


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