Year: 1999 Source: AIDS Education and Prevention, v.11, no.1, (February 1999), p.53-64 SIEC No: 20010564

The authors examined the narratives of gay men who contemplated or attempted suicide soon after they had learned of their HIV infection. It was found that suicidal ideation & attempts 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, & promoting a renewed effort at self-help & help seeking, a new commitment to life, & a reappraisal of personal goals. It is recommended that clinicians & HIV counsellors be cognizant of these positive symbolic functions of suicidality in coping with HIV infection. Allowing people recently diagnosed with HIV to discuss suicidality may allow them to move towards acceptance & commitment to life. (18 refs.)