, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 346-360
Date: 17 May 2011

Dimensions of Psychological Well-being Predict Consistent Condom Use among Older Adults Living with HIV

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This study examined the role of psychological well-being in promoting consistent condom use among a sample of HIV-positive adults ages 50 and older living in New York City. Data were drawn from the Research on Older Adults with HIV (ROAH) project, and 328 sexually active participants (ages 50 to 78) were included in this cross-sectional analysis. Participants completed the Ryff Scales of Psychological Well-being (Ryff Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57(6):1069–1081, 1989) and a detailed measure of sexual behavior in the past 90 days. Separate regression models were constructed by gender and sexual orientation (i.e., gay/bisexual men, straight men, and women). Psychological well-being was positively associated with sustained prevention practice, i.e. consistent condom use during every act of anal or vaginal sex. The effects of psychological well-being were observed over and above those associated with alcohol and drug use or disease severity (i.e. presence of an AIDS diagnosis). Unique dimensions of psychological well-being were associated with protected sex practice for each of the three gender/sexual orientation cohorts. This study is among the first to identify associations among specific psychological resources and consistent condom use among HIV-positive persons, and provides support for a salutogenic, eudaimonic approach to understanding and fostering prevention behavior among HIV-positive older adults.