alexa Older women and HIV: how much do they know and where are they getting their information?
Medicine

Medicine

Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research

Author(s): Henderson SJ, Bernstein LB, George DM, Doyle JP, Paranjape AS,

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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To assess older urban women's knowledge about sexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and to evaluate the relationship between their HIV/AIDS knowledge level and sources of information. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey conducted between June 2001 and July 2002. Trained research assistants administered a questionnaire in a face-to-face interview. SETTING: General medicine clinic in a large public hospital in a high HIV/AIDS incidence area. PARTICIPANTS: Five hundred fourteen women aged 50 and older. MEASUREMENTS: Nine questions assessing knowledge of risk of HIV sexual transmission with potential scores ranging from 0 to 9 correct answers. Participants identified all sources of HIV information. RESULTS: The mean knowledge score was 3.7 out of a possible 9 correct responses (range 0 (3\%) to 8 (1\%)). Younger age, employment, and higher educational level were associated with higher knowledge scores, whereas marital status was unrelated. No respondent correctly answered all of the nine questions. The most commonly identified sources of HIV/AIDS information were television (85\%), friends (54\%), and newspapers (51\%). Only 38\% of respondents identified health professionals as a source of information about HIV/AIDS. Health professionals, newspapers, and family members were each independently associated with higher knowledge scores (P<.05). CONCLUSION: Older women in a general medicine clinic had limited knowledge of sexual transmission of HIV. HIV/AIDS education specifically targeted to this subpopulation is warranted, and health professionals may have an important role in disseminating such messages. Copyright 2004 American Geriatrics Society This article was published in J Am Geriatr Soc and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research

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