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The Gerontologist 44:121-126 (2004)
© 2004 The Gerontological Society of America

Developing and Implementing an HIV/AIDS Educational Curriculum for Older Adults

Joanne Altschuler, PhD, LCSW1,, Anne D. Katz, PhD, LCSW2 and Margaret Tynan, PhD3

Correspondence: Address correspondence to Joanne Altschuler, PhD, LCSW, School of Social Work, California State University, 5151 State University Drive, Simpson Tower F808, Los Angeles, CA 90032. E-mail: jaltsch{at}

Purpose: Recent data (2002) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that almost 11% of all cases of AIDS were diagnosed in people 50 and older. Despite the steady rise and future projections of increase, there is still a paucity of education and prevention programs targeting this population. This article reports on the development and piloting of an HIV/AIDS education prevention program. It describes an educational curriculum that provides older adults with accurate information about the relevance of HIV/AIDS to their lives. Design and Methods: A purposive sample (n = 249) of ethnically and economically diverse adults 50 years and older was selected from 14 organizations in rural and urban settings in California. They were surveyed to determine their interest in participating in HIV/AIDS education prevention programs. Results: A majority of participants reported interest in an HIV/AIDS prevention program for older people, with female respondents more likely to attend than male respondents. Participants who were moderately or very religious were also more likely to attend. Participants expressed preference for prevention education through presentations at centers serving older adults, and from physicians and other health care providers. On the basis of these findings, a specialized curriculum targeting older adults was developed, presented, and disseminated. Implications: People 50 years and older are sexually active, lack accurate information about HIV/AIDS, and are in need of HIV/AIDS education.

Key Words: Older adults • HIV/AIDS education • HIV/AIDS prevention

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All GSA journals Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Copyright © 2004 by The Gerontological Society of America.