Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

A Systematic Review of Risk Factors for Suicide Among Persons Living with HIV (1996-2020).

Smith A, Breazeale S, Goulet JL, Vlahov D, Justice AC, Womack JA. A Systematic Review of Risk Factors for Suicide Among Persons Living with HIV (1996-2020). AIDS and behavior. 2022 Aug 1; 26(8):2559-2573.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


Persons living with HIV (PWH) are at elevated risk for suicide. We conducted a systematic literature review following PRISMA-P guidelines to examine risk factors associated with suicide as a cause of morbidity among PWH. We searched six electronic databases using search terms (suicide, suicide attempt, self-harm, self-injurious behavior, HIV, AIDS, PWH). We focused on factors that were specific to HIV infection (CD4 count, HIV-1 RNA, and antiretroviral therapy [ART]). The initial search yielded N? = 2657 studies. Eligible studies included suicide as an outcome, quantitative study design, and publication in peer-reviewed journals from 1996 through 2020. Fourteen studies met inclusion criteria. PWH share risk factors for suicide found in the general population: psychiatric illness, previous suicide attempt, drug and alcohol misuse. PWH also have HIV-specific risk factors for suicide. HIV diagnosis in the past two years and transmission related to injection drug use were associated with increased risk; HIV-1 RNA, ART, and AIDS-defining illness were not.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.