Half of Zimbabwe’s Suicides are HIV-Related
More than 250 people in Zimbabwe committed suicide last year after learning that they were HIV-positive, the African Eye News Service/AllAfrica.com reports. Of the 451 suicides reported, 251 occured among "despondent" HIV-positive individuals who killed themselves as a "result of the stigma attached to having the disease," according to Yotamu Chirwa, a sociologist at the University of Zimbabwe. The majority were between the ages of 15 and 30 and were unable to "cope with the social pressures brought about by HIV," Mohamed Sebit, a university psychiatrist, said. Sebit also attributed the national rise in suicide to unemployment. Two thousand people die of AIDS-related complications every week in Zimbabwe, where an estimated one in four adults is infected with HIV (Mukumbira, African Eye News Service/AllAfrica.com, 2/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.