Safer Sex for Seniors
Bob Leahy looks at the rise in STI infections in the over-50 set, a website promoting safer sex for seniors and a video that features sexed-up seniors doing the nasty.
Who says senior years mean an end to sex?. Studies have shown shown that more than 80% of 50-90 year olds are sexually active. But for the same age group, sexually transmitted infection rates have doubled in the past decade in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., says a recent study.
According to a CTV News story, there has also been a significant increase in the number of older adults accessing HIV care, up 82 per cent since 2001. While much of that increase is due to HIV patients living longer because of new treatments, new HIV diagnoses in adults over 50 doubled between 2000 and 2009 in the U.K.
Says CTV News "The statistics also show increases in incidents of syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhoea in adults in the 45-to-64 age bracket. “Over the last 10 to 15 years, we were seeing in this (over 50) group that . . . (sexually transmitted) infections were really rising . . . across the board," one of the study's authors, Rachel von Simson, told CTV News. "In some cases, they now form a larger group of infections than those aged 15 to 29.” Statistics show in Canada that in adults over the age of 45, they are seeing more cases of syphilis in them than in adults aged 15 to 29. They theorize that the increase in the use of erectile dysfunction drugs has allowed men to stay sexually active longer, increasing the amount of time a man can put himself and his partners at risk. Von Simson says doctors should look at older patients the same way they do younger patients, and examine the possibility that they may have an STI.”
"Doctors don't really particularly expect to see (older) patients at risk, so they might not be picking up infections like HIV early on when they need treating and that might mean a greater spread," von Simson said. "(Doctors) are very afraid they may offend older adults by speaking about it."
All of which makes the US-based website Safer Sex for Seniors so much sense. It’s chatty site lacks pizzaz but nevertheless sports a nifty video that has been raising eyebrows all over the net. And it seems decidedly straight – true, ther is a nod to bisexuality here and even transgendered people here but nothing at all about gay sex. Still, what’s here is solid enough, even though its message “There’s Only One Way to Safety – Use Condoms” lacks the nuanced approach we’ve come to expect of our safer sex menus that nowadays tend to stress individual decision making rather than edicts.
But I’m being picky. Any website that features seniors working their way through the Kama Sutra can’t be all bad. You be the judge.