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NLM AIDSLINE
Hope and resilience in suicide ideation and behavior of gay and bisexual men following notification of HIV infection.
Siegel K; Meyer IH; Columbia University, School of Public Health,
July 30, 1999
AIDS Educ Prev. 1999 Feb;11(1):53-64. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE

Upon being notified that they are positive for HIV, people often experience terror and confusion. At the beginning stages of coping with HIV diagnosis, suicide ideation and behavior may arise as the infected person begins to envision frightening images of a future life with AIDS. We examined the narratives of gay men who contemplated or attempted suicide soon after they had learned of their HIV infection. We found that suicidal ideation and attempt often provoked a process of coping with HIV disease, leading to a redefinition of the meaning of HIV, enhancing one's sense of control over life, and prompting a renewed effort at self-help and help seeking, a new commitment to life, and a reappraisal of personal goals. We recommend that clinicians and HIV counselors be cognizant of these positive symbolic functions of suicidality in coping with HIV infection. Allowing people who were recently diagnosed with HIV to discuss suicidality may allow them to move toward acceptance and commitment to life.

JOURNAL ARTICLE *Adaptation, Psychological Adult Attitude to Death Attitude to Health Bisexuality/*PSYCHOLOGY Goals Homosexuality, Male/*PSYCHOLOGY Human HIV Infections/*DIAGNOSIS/*PSYCHOLOGY Internal-External Control Male *Morale New York City Questionnaires Suicide, Attempted/*PSYCHOLOGY Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S. Symbolism

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