Older adults and STDs. These two words aren’t typically linked when it comes to discussing sex education. However, STDs in people older than 45 are quite common. According to various studies, the STD rate for the older generation is on the rise.
The journal of Sexually Transmitted Infections conducted a study of roughly 5,000 participants from 1996 to 2003. The total cases of chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis and genital warts among people over 45 increased 127%, from 344 cases to 780 cases during this time period.
Researchers can point to a number of different factors for this increase in STDs, such as midlife divorce, online dating sites, Viagra, and menopause. Many boomers and older adults find themselves dating again after their spouse has deceased. According to Dr. Heather E. Whiston, sexually active older people may think they are having safe sex and that STDs don’t apply to them, but that is not always the case. Researchers have also implied that the mass appeal and marketing of Viagra might contribute to sexually transmitted diseases. Older men are able to have sex and this may increase risky behavior. With older women reaching menopause and unable to get pregnant, older adults may not feel condoms are necessary.
A vigorous sex life for baby boomers is quite common and comes with the same consequence as younger people: sexually transmitted diseases. In 2011, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted research and collected stats and figures on STDs.
These numbers accompany people ages 45 to 65 years old:
- More than 12,000 cases of gonorrhea
- More than 2,600 cases of syphilis
- More than 22,000 cases of chlamydia
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