Assessing the Feasibility of a Life History Calendar to Measure HIV Risk and Health in Older South Africans

Enid Schatz , University of Missouri, Columbia
Lucia C. Knight, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Sanyu Mojola, Princeton University

Life history calendars capture patterns of behavior over time, uncovering transitions and trajectories. Little is known about older Africans’ HIV testing and risk in the context of a mature HIV epidemic. Operationalizing a ‘life course approach to HIV vulnerability’ through a Testing & Risk History Calendar [TRHC], we collected pilot data in rural and urban South Africa on older persons’ risk and HIV testing. We found that older adults were able to provide (1) reference points within a 10 year period to facilitate recall, (2) specifics about any and all HIV tests during that decade, and (3) details of living arrangements, relationships, health status, health care utilization including changes in each, over this period. When used on a larger scale, the TRHC could reveal the relationship between testing and risk, as well as helping to outline the timing of changes in health and relationships at older ages.

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 Presented in Session 184. Reproductive Behavior and Sexual Health of Middle and Older Adults