You got it wrong; the elderly are also getting STDs
Date: February 11th, 2017
Swelling STD rates among the “baby boomer” Generation
Professor Dame Sally Davies explained that baby boomers are experiencing more and more factors to make them fearless. The women for instance no longer are afraid of pregnancy while the men have gone through vasectomies. Under these kinds of conditions, this group tends to be careless with their sexual life.
With a period of four years, the people aged 50 to 70 have recorded a 38 percent increased in the STDs.
Misconception about the elderly
“Society’s prevailing view still considers that older people are not particularly sexually active or interested in intimate sexual relationships,” says Prof Davies.
But the chief medical officer provided an annual report which points out that people falling in this category are actually active sexually and most of them engage in unsafe sex hence contracting the STIs.
The released figures indicate that in 2010 there were 11,366 new STDs diagnosis. This was hugely increased in 2014 to 15,726 new infections.
“Among those aged 50 to 70 years, over two-thirds report at least one sexual partner in the past year. However, society’s prevailing view still considers that older people are not particularly sexually active or interested in intimate sexual relationships,” states the report.
It goes on to suggest that “Changing social and behavioural patterns of those who grew up in the post-war era and swinging sixties may be fuelling the rise in STIs.”
Divorce rates a factor to consider
One other fuel to this new pattern could be the increasing rates of divorce for those aged 40+. The implication is that they may re-partner and continue with the sexual life.
An interesting aspect is that most of the elderly men end up in relationships with younger women, who at that time may also be in a separate relationship. These men had vasectomy in their 30s and 40s thus do not consider using condom an issue.
On the other hand, the post-menopause women are no longer thrilled by the thought of pregnancy. They thus end up discarding the usage of condoms because they view using a condom as a pregnancy prevention mechanism and not protection against STDs. This group also rarely goes for STD testing due to fear of backlash from the doctor.
Social Isolation concerns
The report did not fail to touch on the issue of social isolation among the elderly. Most of them end up living alone and have no one offering them assistance.
The report states that “Solo living in one’s 50s and 60s, especially among men, has become more common among successive cohorts. In 1985, 9.6 per cent of men aged 60–64 were living alone; by 2009, this had risen to 21.8 per cent within the same age group.”
Divorce is a major factor for the men living on their own. And the fear of backlash from the society hinders them from having STD testing.
“From a policy perspective, the rise in living alone in their 50s and 60s is of concern since those who are living alone in later life are less likely to receive support from informal sources, having no co-residential partner, and display a higher use of formal services than those who are not living alone. Moreover, living alone is itself related to poor physical health,” warned the report.