Due to advances made in HIV treatment, the population of individuals with HIV over the age of 50 is growing. Aging women face many developmental challenges and some of these challenges, including having or maintaining intimate partner relationships, may be particularly pronounced for aging women living with HIV. However, research exploring the psychosocial needs of aging women with HIV is limited. Thus, the aim of this study was to explore factors that impact intimate partner relationships for older women with HIV. Nineteen women (mean age=56.79, SD=4.63 years) referred from Boston-area community organizations and hospitals completed in-depth individual interviews. Forty-seven percent of participants identified themselves as Black/African American, and 37% as White/Caucasian. Average time since diagnosis was 16.32 years (SD=5.70). Interviews continued until saturation of content was reached. Inclusion criteria included: biologically born female; aged 50 years or older; diagnosis of HIV/AIDS; and English speaking. Qualitative interviews were coded by two raters and content analyses were conducted using NVivo 9 software. The findings are described across the following three main themes: (1) stigma; (2) body image concerns; and (3) the disclosure dilemma. The themes and issues identified by this study may help guide sexual health-related interventions for older HIV-infected women.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases