CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update Characteristics of Women 50 Years of Age or Older With
Schable, Barbara; Chu, Susan Y.; Diaz, Theresa
December 3, 1996
American Journal of Public Health (11/96) Vol. 86, No. 11, P.
Of all the AIDS cases in women reported through December 1994,
9 percent were among women aged 50 and older, and most of
these women contracted HIV through heterosexual contact.
Little research has been done to determine the level of HIV
risk behavior in older women. Barbara Schable and colleagues
at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention interviewed
HIV-positive women in this age group and report on their
sociodemographic characteristics and sexual and other risk
behaviors. They found that older women were more likely than
younger women to live alone, not to have completed high
school, to be tested for HIV while hospitalized, and never to
have used a condom before testing positive for HIV. The CDC
researchers conclude that physicians should try harder to
recognize HIV risk behavior in older women, should encourage
HIV testing, and should promote condom use.