Most young people want to put their heads in the sand when it comes to old age and sex, but the reality is that older people do have sex, and they do suffer from STDs. For example, Florida has seen a rise in the number of syphilis cases among the older generation.
A 2018 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that there was a 16.7 percent increase in syphilis cases in men 65 and older. This coincides with the record-breaking 2.3 million syphilis cases in 2018.
Athena Health database showed that, in 2014 and 2017, there was a 23 percent increase in herpes simplex, syphilis, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, hepatitis B and chlamydia in people over the age of 60.
Thanks to the influx of medicines for senior citizens to continue having a sex life, the rise in STDs is likely to continue if there is no intervention. Zion Market Research published a report that shows the erectile dysfunction market is a nearly $5 billion industry with an expected revenue of $7 billion a year industry by 2025.
With senior citizens given the ability to have sex, the chance of the STDs spreading is high. And, since many seniors take an array of medications to treat other conditions, their ability to fight off some diseases is low because they don’t have as much good bacteria anymore. Seniors with STDs could suffer more serious medical issues.
According to Dr. Morton Levitt, a Florida pathologist, he has seen several STD cases involve senior citizens, and he attributes it to their lack of shyness and their open and honest talks about sex with their doctors. He said the right tests run through the pathology lab often means quick STD treatment and recovery time. However, Levitt said, the real problem in the rise of STDs among the older generation is them not engaging in safe sex practices.
Levitt suggests doctors talk openly to their patients about sex, HIV and STDs and test older patients who admit to being sexually active. Levitt said senior citizens can protect themselves by practicing safe sex and talking to their partners and doctor about concerns they may have. He said people who do this are more often to get tested and catch infections early on.
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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