AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 12, pp 3427–3434 | Cite as

Suicidal Ideation Among Adults Re-engaging in HIV Care in Argentina

  • Lissa N. Mandell
  • Violeta J. Rodriguez
  • Aileen De La Rosa
  • John M. Abbamonte
  • Omar Sued
  • Diego Cecchini
  • Isabel Cassetti
  • Pedro Cahn
  • Stephen M. Weiss
  • Deborah L. JonesEmail author
  • COPA Study Group
Original Paper


Argentina has one of the highest suicide rates in Latin America and the Caribbean. Though people living with HIV are at increased risk for suicidal behavior, little research on suicide risk has been conducted among HIV-positive people in this region. This study examined risk factors for suicidal ideation among HIV-infected adults (N = 360) re-engaging in care in Argentina. Overall, 21% of participants reported suicidal ideation in the past week. In adjusted logistic regression models, younger age, increased depressive symptomatology, and drug abuse were associated with suicidal ideation (p < 0.05); decreased motivation for adherence and fewer months since initiating antiretroviral therapy approached significance (p = 0.07). Suicidal ideation was common in this sample of HIV-positive patients in Argentina. Findings highlight the need for routine risk assessment and interventions integrated into the HIV care continuum, addressing depression, substance use, and suicidal behavior.


HIV Suicidal ideation Argentina South America Engagement in care 


Argentina tiene una de las tasas de suicidio más altas de América Latina y el Caribe. Aunque las personas que viven con el VIH tienen un mayor riesgo de comportamiento suicida, se ha realizado poca investigación sobre el riesgo de suicidio entre las personas con VIH en esta región. Este estudio examinó los factores de riesgo que contribuyen a los pensamientos suicidas entre adultos con VIH (N = 360) quienes están revinculando con el tratamiento en la Argentina. El 21% de los participantes reportaron pensamientos suicidas en la semana pasada. En modelos de regresión logística ajustada, ser más joven, sintomatología depresiva, y el abuso de drogas estuvieron asociados con pensamientos suicidas (p < 0.05). Menos motivación para cumplir con el tratamiento y menos meses desde el inicio del tratamiento antirretroviral se aproximaron a tener una correlación con pensamientos suicidas (p = 0.07). Los pensamientos suicidas fueron prevalentes en este grupo de pacientes con VIH en la Argentina. Los hallazgos resaltan la necesidad de evaluaciones de riesgo e intervenciones integradas para la depresión, el uso de drogas y el comportamiento suicida entre pacientes con VIH.

Palabras clave

VIH pensamientos suicidas Argentina América del Sur compromiso con la atención 



This study was made possible through the efforts of the COPA2 team and the men and women participating. This study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, R01MH110242, with support from the Miami Center for AIDS Research through funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, P30AI073961. VJR’s work on this manuscript was partially supported by a Ford Foundation Fellowship, administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

COPA Study Group (collaborators): Agustina Arguello, Laura Cabrera, Florencia Cahn, Liliana Calanni, Ana Crinejo, Daniel David, Emanuel Dell’Isola, Mariano De Stefano, Fabiana Enjamio, María Inés Figueroa, Marcela Gunning, Sergio Lupo, Carolina Pérez, Héctor Pérez, Rufina Pérez, Claudia Rodriguez, María José Rolon, Alicia Sisto, Natalia Tokumoto, Liliana Trape, Gonzalo Vigo.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lissa N. Mandell
    • 1
  • Violeta J. Rodriguez
    • 1
    • 2
  • Aileen De La Rosa
    • 1
  • John M. Abbamonte
    • 1
  • Omar Sued
    • 3
  • Diego Cecchini
    • 4
  • Isabel Cassetti
    • 4
  • Pedro Cahn
    • 3
  • Stephen M. Weiss
    • 1
  • Deborah L. Jones
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • COPA Study Group
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  3. 3.Fundación HuéspedBuenos AiresArgentina
  4. 4.Helios SaludBuenos AiresArgentina
  5. 5.University of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA

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