HIV/AIDS interventions in an aging U.S. population

Health Soc Work. 2011 May;36(2):149-56. doi: 10.1093/hsw/36.2.149.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25 percent of people living with HIV in the United States in 2006 were age 50 and older. HIV prevention for people over 50 is an important health concern, especially as the U.S. population grows older. Scholarly research has identified the need for HIV/AIDS interventions in the population of people over age 50, but few interventions have been established. The ecological perspective, which integrates intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, community, and policy factors, was used to review the current interventions and propose possible new HIV/AIDS prevention efforts for older adults. Intrapersonal interventions are often based on the health belief model. The precaution adoption process model was explored as an alternative intrapersonal theory for modeling prevention efforts. Community interventions using diffusion of innovations theory are fully explored, and new interventions are proposed as an option for preventing HIV/AIDS in older adults. An agenda for future research and interventions is proposed. Social workers will be at the forefront of the effort to prevent HIV/AIDS in older adults. They must accept this responsibility, propose interventions, and evaluate their effectiveness.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Health Services for the Aged*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Population Dynamics
  • United States