Florida Health Study: Sexually active seniors particularly vulnerable to STDs

Florida Health Study: Sexually active seniors particularly vulnerable to STDs


05/11/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

West Palm Beach, FL—Teenagers and young adults have long been urged to practice safe sex as a means of preventing the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases. On the other hand, experts are beginning to acknowledge a different generation of STD-susceptible individuals: senior citizens. Specialists have even deemed unprotected sex to be a rising trend amongst Floridian retirees, according to an MSNBC report.

West Palm Beach gynecologist and sexual health specialist Dr. Maureen Whelihan noted, “The population over 60 is having a lot of sex… Some of the barriers to sex when you’re younger are: there’s not enough time, there are kids in the house, there’s no privacy, you’re tired. When retirement occurs, besides traveling, what else is there to do but have great sex?”

Since pregnancy is no longer a factor, seniors are less likely to use condoms during intercourse. However, their participation in unprotected sex thus leaves them increasingly vulnerable to STDs.

Floridians over the age of 40 reportedly had the “fastest growing rate of Chlamydia cases” in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Health officials have apparently noticed an increase in the rate of seniors infected with herpes, gonorrhea, HIV and AIDS as well.

Dr. Whelihan admitted her patients commonly tend to disregard advice to use condoms. Nonetheless, she advised sexually active seniors to undergo routine screening for potential STDs as a precaution.

For more information on how to spot and treat sexually transmitted diseases, individuals are urged to refer to the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of STD Prevention and Control Web site.

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