Sexually Transmitted Diseases On Rise Among Elderly

Seniors Gone Wild

Senior citizens are definitely finding ways of staying active, but sometimes not in the safest ways, as indicated by a recent rise in sexually transmitted diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 24 percent of total AIDS cases are among senior citizens, which is up 17 percent from 2001.

Seniors gone wild, that's what recent reports are showing when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases.

Seniors are definitely finding ways of staying active but sometimes not in the safest ways as proven by the rise in sexually transmitted diseases.

For 71-year-old Frank Fisher, age is not a concern when it comes to maintaining his sex life. "Well I've always heard if you don't use it, you lose it. So I try to adhere to that," said Fisher.

Some seniors told ABC23 that one thing they aren't using are condoms. "There ain't no danger of pregnancy with me or women I end up with," said Fisher.

But there is a danger of STDs, which are on the rise for senior citizens.

One factor can be medications like Viagra or Cialis. Another factor could be a newly single life. "Some seniors are real prudish when they're young but when they're divorced or widowed,they go wild," said Fisher.

A Harvard study found that 43 percent of widows and 21 percent of widowers had been diagnosed with an STD. The Public Health Department said another factor could be that talk of sex and STDs are considered taboo among the elderly.

"Most people are embarrassed about getting checked, so frequently they'll avoid going to the doctor or they're afraid to ask doctor to test them for an infection," said Denise Smith from Public Health.

As a result many seniors can unknowingly pass on an STD. That's why it's important to remember that when it comes to STDs, "It can affect anyone having sex," said Smith.

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