Completion of Preventive Health Care Actions by Older Women with HIV/AIDS

Patricia Kay Correll, Walden University


The widespread use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has resulted in longer lifespans for HIV seropositive women in the United States, during which preventive health care is recommended. Failing to complete recommended cancer screening tests can result in cancer being diagnosed at a later stage with a poorer prognosis. The purpose of the study, based on the ecosocial theory, was to describe the sociodemographic and clinical variables of HIV seropositive women who failed to complete recommended screening tests for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers, and determine if the presence of hypertension, obesity, diabetes, depression, or tobacco use impacted the completion of these screening tests. The electronic medical records of 142 HIV seropositive women were reviewed. Univariate analysis, bivariate analysis, and logistic regression were conducted to create a model associated with the completion of preventive health care screening tests. For breast cancer, cervical cancer, and colorectal cancer, 69%, 71.8%, and 69.7% failed to complete screening, respectively. Number of years living with HIV infection and HIV stage were associated with breast cancer screening; distance between residence and health care facility, and HIV stage were associated with cervical cancer screening; and age and marital status were associated with colorectal cancer screening. Addressing issues related to the completion of cancer screening tests over the lifespans of HIV seropositive women can result in positive social change by preventing disease and disability, which can negatively impact these women, their families, and their communities.