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January 2022

Theoretical perspectives on suicide in gay men with AIDS

Author(s): Spicer, J.

Journal/Book: Soc Sci Med. 2000; 51: the Boulevard Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford Ox5 1GB, England. Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd. 65-72.

Abstract: Suicide among gay men with AIDS constitutes a significant theoretical and practical problem. In order to understand this problem it is necessary to consider the specific circumstances that surround these individuals. Whilst there are many theories of suicide with which to address the problem, few are able to capture the special context within which gay men with AIDS live. This article explores three broad concepts from the theoretical literature on suicide that have explanatory potential in this unique context. The three concepts are: the search for meaning in the midst of suffering, Shneidman's [Shneidman, E., 1985. Definition of Suicide. John Wiley, New York] notion of unendurable psychological pain, and hopelessness. This article attempts to demonstrate how these three concepts can incorporate the experiences of gay men with AIDS and contribute to understanding the problem of suicide in this population.

Note: Article McNaught A, Massey Univ, Sch Psychol, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North, NEW ZEALAND

Keyword(s): AIDS; suicide; gay men; HUMAN-IMMUNODEFICIENCY-VIRUS; SELF-ESTEEM; INTERNALIZED HOMOPHOBIA; PSYCHIATRIC-INPATIENTS; SOCIAL SUPPORT; HOMOSEXUAL MEN; HIV-INFECTION; RISK-FACTORS; LIFE-SPAN; HOPELESSNESS


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