Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2016

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Social Work

First Advisor

Sanders, Sara

First Committee Member

Ashida, Sato

Second Committee Member

Guo, Man

Third Committee Member

Saunders, Edward

Fourth Committee Member

Saunders, Jeanne


Older adults account for 20% of new HIV infections in the U.S and 50% of people living with the disease. In part, this is due to people living longer with HIV, greater sexual activity in later life, a lack of condom use, and little understanding about HIV/AIDS. Evidence suggests that healthcare providers can play a key role in the dissemination of information about HIV/AIDS to older adults. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of patient-provider communication of HIV/AIDS on older adults’ intentions to use condoms. The mediating relationships of knowledge of HIV/AIDS, perceived threat, subjective norms, and self-efficacy were also examined. This study utilized a cross-sectional, web-based survey, administered to adults aged 50 years and older (N=427). Forty-one percent of participants reported no communication with the healthcare provider about HIV/AIDS, yet 87% reported future intentions to use a condom with a new sexual partner. Participants demonstrated high knowledge of HIV/AIDS (M=14.7 out of 18), believed their sexual partner would be agreeable to using condoms (M=24 out of 36), and 91% believed they had the ability to properly use a condom. However, participants did not believe HIV/AIDS posed a threat to their health (M=8 out of 36). Mediation analysis yielded non-significant results. Healthcare providers can provide tailored prevention recommendations to higher risk older adults in order to curb the number of new infections. Additional research is needed with older adults who identify as LGBT, MSM, and older adults of color.


Health communication, HIV/AIDS, Older adults, Prevention


x, 188 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 106-133).


Copyright 2016 Erin Linn Robinson