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Aging with HIV: Allegheny County’s assisted living facilities preparedness for HIV-positive older adults

Schaffer, Rachel (2019) Aging with HIV: Allegheny County’s assisted living facilities preparedness for HIV-positive older adults. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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HIV is no longer a death sentence, but a chronic illness that can be maintained over decades. An HIV-positive individual can live into his or her 60’s and 70’s. Currently, over 50% of people living with HIV (PLWH) are over the age of 50. As a result, there will be an imminent influx of HIV-positive individuals entering long-term care facilities that are not prepared to care for their unique needs. Aging with HIV is linked with co-morbidities such as multiple chronic conditions and concurrent viral infections, substance abuse, mental health concerns, and polypharmacology. This qualitative study reached out to 57 long-term care facilities in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, to assess their level of readiness in appropriately caring for HIV-positive older adults. No respondent (n=9) felt that training their staff in caring for PLWH was extremely important, though many wished that their staff did know best practices in the HIV field. Furthermore, long-term care facilities in the county are not very familiar with local HIV training, healthcare, and referral organizations. Overall, more research needs to be conducted to conclude if long-term care facilities in Allegheny County are adequately prepared to care the imminent influx of HIV-positive residents. It is of great public health importance that long-term care facilities be prepared to care for HIV-positive older adults.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Schaffer, RachelRachel.J.Schaffer@gmail.comrjs1710000-0002-3578-2060
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairAlbert, Stevensalbert@pitt.edusalbert
Committee ChairEgan, Jamesjee48@pitt.edujee48
Committee ChairEngel, Rafaelrengel@pitt.edurengel
Date: 19 June 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 15 April 2019
Approval Date: 19 June 2019
Submission Date: 25 April 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 52
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nursing Homes
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2019 21:46
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2019 21:46


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