Term of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health in Public Health Leadership (Dr.P.H.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Committee Chair

Robert Vogel

Committee Member 1

Greg Evans

Committee Member 2

Yelena Tarasenko


In 2009, there were 155,700 individuals coming of age in ten years or less to receive Medicare benefits who were HIV positive. There is a lack of studies that investigate HIV/AIDS in the aging population from a health policy standpoint. Methods: A non-experimental descriptive quantitative study was conducted utilizing data from the CDC's 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey to identify factors that may be related to the participation in risky behaviors associated with the transmission of HIV among Georgia residents. The BRFSS question inquiring about the participation in HIV risk behaviors associated with HIV transmission served as the outcome variable while the exposures of interest were extracted from the questions regarding age, race, gender, income level, mental health morbidity, health care coverage status, and health care costs. Crude odds ratios, confidence intervals, and p-values were calculated to evaluate the associations between the categorical exposures of interest and the outcome variable. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine relationships between the continuous exposures of interest and the outcome variable. Results: The relationship between the participation in HIV risk behaviors and mental health morbidity among the population of interest was found to be statistically significant. Discussion: Findings suggest that there is a lackof statistical power of BRFSS to discuss HIV/AIDS among aging Georgians in that the survey tool was under-representative of the larger population.