Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Welfare

First Advisor's Name

Richard L. Beaulaurier

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Andres Gil

Third Advisor's Name

Mario De La Rosa

Fourth Advisor's Name

Frederick L. Newman

Date of Defense



This study identifies and describes HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) of middle aged and older Latinas. The rate of new cases of HIV in people age 45 and older is rapidly increasing, with a 40.6% increase in the numbers of older Latinas infected with HIV between 1998 and 2002. Despite this increase, there is paucity of research on this population. This research seeks to address the gap through a secondary data analysis of Latina women. The aim of this study is twofold: 1) Develop and empirically test a multivariate model of VCT utilization for middle aged and older Latinas; 2) To test how the three individual components of the Andersen Behavioral Model impact VCT for middle aged and older Latinas. The study is organized around the three major domains of the Andersen Behavioral Model of service use that include: a) predisposing factors; b) enabling characteristics and c) need. Logistic regression using structural equation modeling techniques were used to test multivariate relationships of variables on VCT for a sample of 135 middle age and older Latinas residing in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Over 60% of participants had been tested for HIV. Provider endorsement was found to be the strongest predictor of VCT (odds ration [OR] = 6. 38), followed by having a clinic as a regular source of healthcare (OR=3.88). Significant negative associations with VCT included self rated health status (OR.592); Age (OR=.927); Spanish proficiency (OR=.927); number of sexual partners (OR=.613) and consumption of alcohol during sexual activity (.549). As this line of inquiry provides a critical glimpse into the VCT of older Latinas, recommendations for enhanced service provision and research will be offered.





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