As you grow older, it does not automatically mean that you no longer have any interest in sex. It is common for people to continue to be sexually active throughout their life. It is up to the individual how his/her sex life changes over the years.
Sex will usually be necessary for individuals well into old age, but for the general population, there is a reluctance to think about the idea. This is regrettable as it means that they will be at higher risk of STDs.
Health professionals should be much more open to discussing sex in old age and stop assuming that sex is no longer a matter of concern.
A particular problem with sex in the older population is that they seem unwilling to use condoms and to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases. A study in the USA demonstrated that seniors did not often practice condom use.
This is possibly because there was no longer any risk of pregnancy. This can often result in a future visit to a Sexual Health Clinic. Recent studies have also shown that 44% of men who are older than 60 had multiple sexual partners.
This is the same as those in the 30 to 39 age group. A combination of numerous partners and irregular or non-use of condoms is a situation that is increasing the risk of STDs in the older generation.
Nearly everyone is at risk of being infected with HIV if they are sexually active. Studies from the USA have shown that of all diagnoses of Aids in the USA, around 50% of the cases involved people over the age of 50.
New information from Age UK shows that the rate of Sexually Transmitted Disease among the elderly is on the increase.
The speed at which cases in those 65 and older are being diagnosed in the UK has risen by 23% since 2014. These figures show that there were 2,108 cases of STDs among older men in 2018, and 472 among women.
The statistic also showed that middle-aged men (between 45 and 64) are three times more likely to get an STD than females of the same age range.
There were 23,843 cases of STDs in middle-aged men in 2018. This is 18% more than in 2014, compared to a 4% rise for women (8,837 cases).
Young people and even some people in the medical profession have a very negative view of sex for older people. They often imagine wrinkly bodies and are unable to imagine how somebody in the later years of life could indulge in sex.
This prejudice means that there is a little conversation with older people about safe sex. The truth is that older people are often more likely to indulge in risky sexual activities than the younger generations.
Many older people have multiple partners and have a more extensive range of sexual activities than people imagine.
Doctors are far less likely to consider sexually transmitted diseases when diagnosing problems; There is also less chance that they will be screened for HIV.
Attitudes and education about elderly sexual activity need to be far more widely discussed.