If you’re over 50, and dating, you might want to be extra careful.
Sexually active adults are being encouraged to pay more attention to safe sex in line with new health statistics showing sexually transmitted diseases in 50- to 90-year-olds have doubled in the past 10 years alone.
The new alert comes in an editorial published in the Student British Medical Journal. Rachel von Simson, a medical student at King's College, and Ranjababu Kulasegaram, a physician at St. Thomas' Hospital London, said studies show 80 percent of people over 50 are sexually active and increasingly at risk of STD infection.
“Statistics show an increase in cases of syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea in the U.K., U.S.A. and Canada in 45-64-year-olds,” the authors wrote. “There has also been an increase in cases of HIV with those aged 50 and over accounting for 20 percent of adults accessing HIV care, an 82 percent increase on figures from 2001….[and] new diagnoses of HIV in the over 50s have doubled between 2000 and 2009.”
Researchers said post-menopausal women are more vulnerable to STDs. What’s more, men on erectile dysfunction drugs are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with an STD within the first year of usage.
The authors advised physicians to discuss safe sex with men seeking erectile dysfunction drugs. They also recommended: "Doctors should maintain a low threshold for investigating sexually transmitted infections in older adults."