Sex, Seniors and STDs

Author: StarGroup International
Published: Friday 6th February 2015
Summary: While pregnancy is no longer an issue, seniors still need to be concerned about risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

The hair may be thinner and the belly a bit flabby, but that isn't stopping millions of seniors from having the time of their lives in bed. (Stop reading now if you're visualizing your parents or grandparents!)

In fact, according to senior advocate Scott Greenberg, one government-funded study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, reported that 26 percent of 75-85 year-olds were sexually active, most saying they engaged in sex two to three times a month or more!

Drugs like Viagra, improved healthcare and changing societal mores have all contributed to the growth of senior sex, but there's a disturbing dark side that many folks don't consider, Greenberg noted: STDs, including HIV infection. Most at risk, he added, are those who find themselves back in the dating game after years of marriage who don't believe that the risks younger people face apply to them.

"Seniors came of age in the pre-HIV era of Father Knows Best and My Three Sons, and at a time when pregnancy was most folks' biggest worry," said Greenberg, author of Oh My God, I'm Getting Older and So Is My Mom (StarGroup Publishing, 2014). "Once 'The Pill' was introduced, sex was relatively consequence-free in pregnancy terms, and that attitude has persisted as they have aged.

"While pregnancy is no longer an issue, seniors need to be aware that they aren't getting a free ride and absolutely must be concerned about the risk of sexually transmitted diseases," continued Greenberg, president of ComForcare Senior Services, a private duty non-medical home health agency in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. "One startling statistic I read was that as of this year, nearly one half of all people living with HIV in the U.S. will be over the age of 50. That got my attention."

So what's a sensual senior to do before dipping freshly manicured toes back into to the risque river of romance?

"You are at as much risk for an STD at 60 as you are at 16, so do your homework," said Greenberg, who lives in Boca Raton, Florida, "and don't be naive. Sixty-year-old men are dating and sleeping with 35-year-old women, thus sleeping with everyone else she slept with before he came along. Then he has sexual relations with a senior woman, and she's now at risk.

"The best thing a senior can do who has returned to the single world is to become educated about disease prevention.

You can ask your doctor or find information on the internet. And just like 'back in the day' at the local make out place, a lowly condom could once again be your best friend."

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