Unprotected sex among older adults is giving rise to more incidents of sexually transmitted disease in people between the ages of forty-five to seventy. There will always be a reaction to every action, and having sex without protection is the cause of this increase of sexually transmitted disease among older adults. Protecting oneself from sexually transmitted disease requires the practice of safe sex. Safe sex should be worn as an amour against STDs.
Increased Incidence of STD in Older Adults
More often than not the word sexually transmitted disease is associated with teenagers or young adults. Unfortunately, more and more this phrase is beginning to include older adults; like the rest of the population, if they refuse to have safe sex they will find themselves a part of the community who has contracted sexually transmitted disease.
There was a time when sex among older adults was tabooed; because of this myth there is a lack of sexually transmitted disease education for older adults. According to ABC News, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 885 reported cases of syphilis in 45- to 64-year-olds in 2000; in 2010, there were more than 2,500. In 2000, there were 6,700 cases of chlamydia in this age group; the number ballooned to more than 19,000 by 2010. The numbers of older people with HIV has nearly doubled, and 15 percent of new diagnoses of HIV in the U.S. were in people age 50 and older in 2005 (Carrie Gann 2012), These facts testify to the fact that older adults either thinks of themselves as invincible or they are behaving out of ignorance.
One reason why older adults are contracting sexually transmitted disease is the loss of marital partner. Some of these people are really not thinking. They married young and sometimes the only sexual partners they have known are their spouses. Consequently, they believe that the person they are currently dating, who is most times a widow(er) or divorcee, has not have many sexually partners either. It does not occur to them that this might be otherwise and they are sleeping with everyone their sexual partner is sleeping with or with whom they have slept. In ignorance they practice sex without proper protection; sadly sexually transmitted disease is no respecter of person. Sexually transmitted can affect anyone, even a virgin having sex for the first time.
After being married for many years, the loss of a spouse can be very devastating and causes extreme loneliness; to fulfill their loneliness they turn to dating, something they have not done in many years. Before becoming single again, their social lives consisted of activities among groups as themselves, other married couples. Now they feel out of place because they have become the odd person at every gathering. To overcome their loneliness and to feel part of the crowd, they seek consolation by dating; but being single again or being lonely does not negate the practice of safe sex. Having sex without protection is definitely exposing oneself to sexually transmitted disease.
The Center for Disease Control also reports that biological changes may be reasons why older adults are susceptible to sexually transmitted disease. Erectile dysfunction in men and lack of lubrication in the vagina of older women are causes of sexually transmitted disease. The center blames viagra as a culprit for sexually transmitted disease among older men. Viagra is making older men who would not normally have sex, active again. It is safe to say that after having erectile dysfunction, these men become sexually charged and overcome by their desire to satisfy their sexual urge they do not stop to practice safe sex. The explanation of the older women’s dilemma is having sex with dry vagina makes it easier for bacteria or viruses to develop. Whatever the reasons that make older adults expose themseves to sexually transmitted disease is inconsequential, they are not excuse for not practicing safe sex.
A thing that is becoming a thing of the past is chastity among older adults. There was a time when older adults especially women would never admit to enjoying sex much more to admit doing it. Because of this mentality The Center for Disease did not even think it necessary to conduct a research on sexually transmitted disease among older adults. Research on this group only started ten years ago. Some older adults are no less promiscuous than younger adults. Society has changed and older adults are becoming brazen. So much so that they will even be public about extra marital activities such as swinging. As much as younger adults, older adults need to change their sexual behavior, denying the issue will not make the problem go away.
Homosexuality has gained stride, and a new set of homosexuals are coming out of the dark, older gay people. Many men are leaving their marriages to embrace their sexual preferences, a thing they were afraid to do before. They have been slaves to society’s stigma; therefore most of them get married but more and more as society accepts homosexuality they are coming out and there is an influx of older men hitting the gay scene. This group with new found vitality and the fact they can be true to themselves they neglect to practice safe sex. “Sexual relationships with older men may increase risk of exposure to HIV because older gay men are more likely to be HIV-positive” (Center for Disease Control). Of all sexual groups gay men are most promiscuous and most of those who have already contracted sexually transmitted disease are not afraid to spread it.
Society expects older adults to be sensible and usually they are; however when it comes to sex they are foolish people. Just because one has led a sheltered life, does not prevent him or her from contracting sexually transmitted disease. They rationalize or they are just negligent, for whatever reason they refuse to practice safe sex they will pay dearly.
Cann, Carrie. (2012) “Sex Life of Older Adults and Rising STDs.” ABC News. (web).
“Highlights of CDC Activities Addressing HIV Prevention Among African American Gay,
Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men” (2011) The Center for Disease