Older Adults are having sex, rise of STDs

According to ABC news, the longevity of life coupled with the rise in divorce rates has led adults to have more sex partners than in previous generations.  These adults are having sex, without always using the precautions.  This has led to a spike in STDs in older adults.

According to the article, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data has shown that “there were 885 reported cases of syphilis in 45- to 64-year-olds in 2000; in 2010, there were more than 2,500. In 2000, there were 6,700 cases of chlamydia in this age group; the number ballooned to more than 19,000 by 2010.”

The data continues, “the numbers of  older people with HIV  has nearly doubled, and 15 percent of new diagnoses of HIV in the U.S. were in people age 50 and older in 2005, which is the most recent year that the CDC calculated the risk for this age group.”

Why the high rate of STDs among older adults? Because researchers and doctors have long forgotten about the sex lives of older adults; instead largely focus on younger adults/teens.

“A 2010 study of sexual health from Indiana University found the lowest rates of condom use were among people ages 45 and older.”

Older adults were taught different safe sex techniques, and might not be aware of the easy accessibility of condoms today. This coupled with the bodily changes occurring in older men and female could explain the rise in STDs in this demographic.

With this information, doctors and researchers need to broaden their focus on sex lives to include older generations.  They are just as capable of having sex (thanks to Viagra and other modern medicines) as younger adults/teens. And they need to be educated just the same.


About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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