According to a Student British Medical Journal report, sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) among older adults have more than doubled in the past 10 years, as the age group is having more sex than ever.
Of those between 50 and 90 years of age, 80% are sexually active, according to the report, spreading opportunity for disease with the aid of possibly overlooked symptoms.
“A 56 year old man has trouble with his <<waterworks>>. A 61 year old woman reports lower abdominal pain. The chances are that sexually transmitted infections are not high on your list of differential diagnoses – but increasing evidence indicates that they should be,” state the co-authors.
In the editorial discussion by Rachel von Simson, a medical student at King’s College London, and Ranjababu Kulasegaram, a consultant genitourinary physician at St Thomas’ Hospital London, cases like HIV among the group now composes 20% of the UK’s reported HIV population.
That’s up from 11% in 2001.
With the increase in reports of HIV among older populations, the authors write on increased cases of other diseases like syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhoea in the UK, United States and Canada’s older demographic.
The authors write that the cause is in part because of prolonged health and survival.
This news brings several words of caution in the report, as well as by experts, suggesting seniors may want to consider STD testing.
“You never have to retire from sex,” clinical psychologist Judy Kuriansky told CNN, “but you should always behave as the 20-30 year-olds do. You need to be cautious about it.”
“Just as we spend a lot of time advising kids to practice safer sex, we need to do the same things for ourselves and our parents,” sex therapist Ian Kerner told CNN.
Ian Kerner points out that those on their 50’s and up compose the fastest-growing demographics for those who use online dating.
But with some older women into or past menopause believing a condom as unnecessary or men finding them contributors of erectile dysfunction, according to the CNN report, safe sex has dwindled while the more unfavorable, ailing figures rise.