Latest News, Local News, International News, US Politics, Economy

STI Rates Among Older Adults Reach New Highs, CDC Data Reveals

The prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STI) is increasing among the elderly.

The incidence of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis among individuals aged 55 and older in the United States more than doubled between 2012 and 2022, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Rising STI Diagnoses Among Older Adults

Syphilis cases among those aged 55 and older increased by a factor of seven during that decade, whereas gonorrhea and chlamydia cases increased by nearly five and more than three, respectively.

As part of a pre-conference activity preceding the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases next month, a presentation scheduled for Thursday cautions that physicians and older adults alike are ignoring the dangers of sexually transmitted infections in this age group.

This problem is not restricted to the United States. From 2014 to 2019, surveillance data released in England in 2022 indicated a 22% increase in STI diagnoses among individuals aged 45 and older. Following chlamydia as the most prevalent pathogen was gonorrhea.

Several factors, according to Kowalska, may be contributing to the rise in STI prevalence among older adults.

In the first place, individuals in their sixties, seventies, and eighties are leading more active lives than in previous generations. In the case of many, this involves sexual activity. 

AARP and the University of Michigan estimated in 2018 that forty percent of individuals aged sixty-five to eighty are sexually active, and that nearly two-thirds are interested in sex.

Hormone replacement therapy, a treatment option for menopausal symptoms, has the potential to extend sexual desire in the elderly. 

Similarly, erectile dysfunction medications such as Viagra can assist elderly men in maintaining sexual activity.

Conversely, senior adults may not have received the same level of sexual education that is currently offered to adolescents, according to Texas A&M School of Public Health associate professor Matthew Lee Smith.

As demonstrated by Smith’s research, older adults have a limited understanding of STI transmission, symptoms, and prevention.

He stated that physicians may be reticent to inquire about the sexual activity of older patients, and that older individuals are frequently reluctant to discuss their sexual affairs with family or friends.

Smith stated that dexterity issues or erectile dysfunction could make it difficult for some elderly men to use condoms.

Read more: Louisiana’s Effort To Address Child Sexual Abuse Dealt Blow By Court Decision

STIs Across Generations

The prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STI) is increasing among the elderly.

Furthermore, many older adults entered into matrimony at a younger age than is customary today and remained with a single sexual companion until their divorce or widowhood. 

Smith stated that these individuals might not consider using a condom, particularly since pregnancy is not an issue.

Additionally, nursing facilities facilitate the formation of new sexual partnerships. According to the findings of a 2016 survey of nursing home administrators in the United States, sexual activity is prevalent in these facilities, where female residents predominate over male ones.

Medical experts stated that while STIs present health hazards for individuals of all ages, older individuals may encounter greater challenges in eliminating infections or be more prone to contracting them initially.

“One’s susceptibility to infection is heightened due to a compromised immune system; however, there are additional physical factors associated with sexual intimacy that further increase vulnerability,” explained Ethan Morgan, an assistant professor of epidemiology at The Ohio State University College of Nursing. 

For postmenopausal women in particular, the vaginal membrane is more susceptible to tearing, thereby increasing the risk of infection.

The specialists emphasized that physicians must improve their communication with elderly patients regarding safe sexual practices.

Read more: Lung Cancer Breakthrough: Scientists Develop Vaccine With Potential To Prevent Majority Of Cases

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.