Health Sciences Program Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Health Science

Copyright Statement

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College of Health Care Sciences – Health Science Department

First Advisor

Sarah Ransdell

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2017), at the end of 2014, approximately 428,724 people 50 years or older were diagnosed and living with HIV in the United States. A contributing factor to the high incidence of HIV in this population is unknown HIV/AIDS serostatus (Fenton, 2007). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2018), terms serostatus as the state of having or not having detectable antibodies against a specific antigen ( Contributing to the lack of knowledge about HIV serostatus, is that those over 50 are less likely to be tested for HIV even when engaging in sexually risky behavior and may underestimate their risk for acquiring the disease (Pilowsky & Wu, 2015) This dissertation research study will examine how people over the age of 50 perceive their risks for contracting HIV and the reasons why they are or are not getting tested for the disease. The study will also assess whether there is a difference in HIV testing behavior among those 50, 60, 70 and 80+ years of age. Finally, this research will evaluate whether there is a relationship between obtaining a routine health screening like cholesterol, diabetes or blood pressure and the likelihood of seniors in the Coachella Valley, California getting a HIV test. This is a cross sectional study using secondary data from the Health Assessment and Research for Communities (HARC) with variables and related data being analyzed using frequency analyses and logistic regression.


Medicine and Health Sciences


Health and environmental sciences, California, HIV, Seniors

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