Baby boomers need a lesson in safe sex
Baby boomers are more sexually active than you may think. A learning module from the University of Texas, Arlington reported that both men and women had reported they are sexually active and 75% reveal they find their sex life emotionally satisfying. The rate of sexual activity does not appear to decline with approaching age.
In 2007, data from the University of Chicago’s National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP), presented in the August 23, 2007, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine had shown that being a baby boomer and growing older does not slow down their sexual activity, well into their 70’s and 80s they participate vaginal intercourse, oral sex and masturbation.
It is a great thing that they are remaining active both physically and sexually but it’s the sexual activity that is causing the problem and can be largely attributed to lack of reliable information on std dating.
A study in Student BMJ had found that the rates of STDs are soaring among those booming seniors. The study found increase in cases of syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea in the UK, USA and Canada in 45-64 year olds. HIV also had increased for those 50 and older.
Among the new HIV infections in 2010, five percent or 2,500 were among older adults age 55 and up. In 2011, people aged 50-54 represented 47% (3,951) of the estimated 8,440 HIV diagnoses among people aged 50 and older in the United States. However, the increasing rates were found much earlier than 2010. A study in the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care reported recent evidence suggests that transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is increasing among late middle-aged and older adults (50 years of age or older).
According to the National Institute on Aging, nearly one-fourth of all people with HIV/AIDS in this country are age 50 and older. Doctors are finding more and more cases of HIV in older adults. However, the number of HIV/AIDS may be greatly more due to several factors; doctors do not usually test older adults for HIV/AIDS and may miss cases during routine check-ups. Older people may mistake the signs of HIVAIDS and just chalk up their aches and pains to growing older which make them less likely to be tested. They can go years with the virus before being tested and by the time they do get tested the virus may be in the late stages.
In 2011, the most recent information from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified more than 12,000 cases of gonorrhea, about 2,600 cases of syphilis and more than 22,000 cases of chlamydia in people ages 45 to 64.
Chlamydia rates have increased by three quarters within the last decade for those aged 45 to 64. According to the Lansing State Journal in an analysis of data from the CDC even though syphilis rates did increase by 60% (2002 – 2009) for baby boomers 55 to 64, baby boomers were responsible for around 55% of the 27% increase of chlamydia among Americans.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the American Academy of Family of Physicians (AAFP), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend chlamydia screening for all sexually active older women who have risk factors, such as a new or multiple sex partners. The CDC specifically recommends annual screening. They also suggest gonorrhea screening for those sexually active older women at increased risk
Many baby boomers or older adults just assume that sexually transmitted has nothing to do with them. It does not matter if they have not been very sexually active that may not hold true for their sex partner.
In an article concerning STDs and baby boomers that appeared in The New York Times, Dr. Heather E. Whitson , assistant professor of geriatrics at Duke University commented “They may think that they’re having safer sex than they are actually having.”
Population based studies in the U.S. , have looked at unmarried adults between the ages of 45 and 50 and found the prevalence rate for genital herpes due to HSV-2 is between 50 and 70%.
There are several reasons why baby boomers and older adults are adding to the number of STDs such as women who have reached menopause do not have to worry about their partner using condoms to prevent pregnancy but postmenopausal women who skip the condom place themselves at additional risk for an STD.
Viagra, Cialis and other erectile dysfunction medications play a role in raising the risk for an STD. Men who are prescribed these drugs are at two to three times more likely to contract an STD.
Another factor is hsv dating or the HSV-2 virus is one of the most frequent STD worldwide. Global estimates show 536 million infected persons and an annual incidence of 23.6 million cases among persons aged 15 to 49 years. HSV-2 is spread by sexual contact and you may not know it since not everyone will show symptoms There is no cure for herpes, and once you have it, it is likely to come back.
The simplest way to protect yourself from an STD is use a condom even if you are baby boomer, age does not matter. Condoms are the only fool proof method against an STD. If you’re a women and cant get pregnant you can still get an STD so protect yourself.
If you think you have an STD or just want to make sure you don’t have one get tested. You can ask your healthcare provider for a test or go to an STD testing clinic.
Just remember being safe during sex applies to all generations not just the young.