People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) face various day-to-day and long-term personal, interpersonal, social, physical and psychological challenges as a result of, and in addition to the health conditions they are susceptible to due to their HIV status. There is a dearth of large-scale research to provide robust prevalence estimates of mental health problems among PLHIV, especially in Nigeria. This study aimed to ascertain the prevalence and factors associated with major depressive episodes, suicidality, and alcohol use disorder among people living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
A survey of 1187 participants aged 18 years and above was conducted within three HIV treatment centres in Abuja, Nigeria. Depression, suicidality, and alcohol use disorder modules of the WHO World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview questionnaire were used for this study. A socio-demographic questionnaire was also used to collect other health and demographic data. Descriptive statistics (frequency distribution, percentage, mean, median, mode, and standard deviation) and regression analyses were conducted to explore associations between mental health problems and demographic and other health-related factors.
Twelve-month prevalence rates were 28.2% for major depressive episodes, 2.9% for suicidal ideation, 2.3% for suicide attempts, 7.8% for harmful alcohol use, 7.0% for alcohol abuse, and 2.2% for alcohol dependence. Major depressive episodes were significantly associated with having planned suicide and marital status. Suicidal ideation was significantly associated with major depressive episodes, marital status, and religion. Females were less likely to be diagnosed with alcohol disorders.
Some people living with HIV/AIDS also tend to suffer from depression, suicidality, and alcohol use disorders. These findings highlight the need for the integration of mental health services into HIV/AIDS care in Nigeria.