Sexual Behaviors, Healthcare Interactions, and HIV-Related Perceptions Among Adults Age 60 Years and Older: An Investigation by Race/Ethnicity. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Older adults are remaining sexually active for longer periods of time, underscoring the need to assess sexual activity patterns in this group and identify differences by race/ethnicity, some of which may have implications for the development and implementation of sexual risk reduction interventions. METHODS: Using data from the 2010 National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, this study examined responses from 1,429 adults aged 60 years and older. Multinomial logistic regression compared sexual behaviors, health-related indicators, interactions with healthcare professionals, and HIV-related perceptions across participants' race/ethnicity. RESULTS: Approximately 81% of participants self-reported as non-Hispanic white, 10.59% as African American, and 8.05% as Hispanic. On average, participants were 69.9 years of age. In the previous year, 49.3% of participants engaged in sexual intercourse; only 3% used condoms. The majority of participants (83.1%) visited a physician at least twice in the previous year, 30.9% had discussed sex with a physician since turning 50, and 14.2% had been tested for HIV. Relative to non-Hispanic whites, African Americans were more likely to be divorced (OR=3.23, P<0.001) or widowed (OR=2.90, P<0.001); have more lifetime sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnoses (OR=1.67, P=0.030); and have paid for sex (OR=2.83, P=0.002). Although African Americans had greater perceived risk for HIV infection (OR=1.66, P=0.046), they were less likely to have discussed sex with a physician since turning 50 (OR=0.45, P=0.009). CONCLUSION: Contextualized interventions to improve patient-provider communication and proactive screening behaviors in sexually-active and aging African Americans are needed.

published proceedings

  • Curr HIV Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Glaude-Hosch, J. A., Smith, M. L., Heckman, T. G., Miles, T. P., Olubajo, B. A., & Ory, M. G.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Glaude-Hosch, Jonathan A||Smith, Matthew Lee||Heckman, Timothy G||Miles, Toni P||Olubajo, Babatunde A||Ory, Marcia G

publication date

  • July 2015