STD Sex Till Death


Sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) are on the rise.
According to the American Social Health Associations ASHA “more than half of all people will have an STD at some point in their lifetime.”
STD’s range from chlamydia to trichomoniasis.

Many STD’s are asymptomatic, detected only through testing which is only routinely performed a third of the time. One of these asymptomatic STD’S is the genital herpes HPV infection. By the age of 50, according to the ASHA, 80% of women will have acquired this genital HPV infection which can, in high-risk types of HPV, lead to cervical cancer.

Sexual activity does not die when you reach 50, a gross thought for our children. In an age of better health care, better nutrition, and health promotion, we are living into our nineties and so is sex, and unfortunately so are STD’s. According to the Hunterdon Co. Health Department, 10% of all AIDS cases occur in persons over the age of 50.

According to the Atlanta based Center for Disease Control and Prevention “AIDS cases among Americans over 50 have quintupled since 1995, up from 16,300 in 1995 to 90,600 in 2003.” and they estimate seniors with 14% of total AIDS cases with senior women representing 18% of female AIDS cases.

The older population is at a great risk. Many don’t know about “safe sex”, or just don’t believe it will happen to them. Physiological changes also contribute to their risk. Immune systems are weakened with age. Menopause and its’ symptoms can mask actual STD symptoms and again, less than 1/3 are routinely checked for STD’s. Remember, AIDS has increased 5 fold in just 8 years for those over 50.

Education will be an uphill battle. Many have already lost friends and spouses and intimate relationships is not in the foreground. But once it happens safe sex is not practiced or “it won’t happen to me” attitude pervades. Unless there is a change in social attitudes and an increase in education, such as pamphlets, and sexual activity discussions during annual physicals, for the golden agers, sex til death maybe more ominous than bargained for.

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