STD’s and Seniors (over 55)DatingBy
April was Sexually Transmitted Disease and Infection (STD/STI’s) month. In the Dear Abby column of the AZ Republic there was a letter from Dr. Edward Salko, DO stating that the younger daters have been paying attention to the sex education they have received and are more likely to to use protection. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that the fastest growing group of people contracting and spreading STD/STI’s are Senior Citizens! Some fault medications for erectile dysfunction, midlife divorces or death of spouse, and online dating sites. The biggest factor is lack of education! When the Seniors were growing up (in the 30-60′s) they only had to worry about the two major STD’s; syphilis and gonorrhea, which were curable by antibiotics. Today there is a more serious and life threatening form AIDS or becoming HIV+. Also, when they were younger, the “worst” thing that could happen if you had unprotected sex was getting pregnant. Now, because many women are past menopause, that risk is gone, so they don’t use condoms, and the STD/STI’S ARE RAGING ON.
Many Seniors especially women won’t talk to their doctors about their sexual activity, and many doctors don’t bring it up because they feel uncomfortable ( who wants to ask someone their mothers or grandmothers about their sex life ) or mistakenly assume we older people don’t engage in or enjoy sexual activity. Dr. Edward Salko, D.O. urged older readers to get tested. Please Seniors don’t be offended if asked by your “love interest” to get an HIV test !
Dear Abby’s response was that if you are sexually active – no matter your age- for your own sake as well as your partners, USE A CONDOM EVERY TIME unless you and your partner have been tested for STD/STI’S) and know for certain that neither of you has been infected. Not everyone who has an STD/STI is aware of it and some just don’t care! You can’t tell by looking at someone whether that person is infected.
One of the National major Senior organizations reported in 2005 that one of the West Valley’s communities had the highest incidence per capita of HIV+ women in the country. These women were and are naive in their sexual activity. They are uncomfortable insisting that their partners use a condom. Perhaps they don’t know how to broach the subject or they don’t want to insult their dates, or don’t think it can happen to them. The truth is that as when they were younger it only took ONCE to get pregnant and the same goes for getting AIDS the most deadly form of STD.
Not to put all the blame on the women, men should also take the initiative and insist on using a condom, after all it takes two to tango. I have heard all the reasons why men don’t like using them but let’s face it is it worth your life to get a little more sensation?
On a lighter note there is a new TV series called “Senior Daze” shot in the West Valley of Maricopa County at over 55+ communities chronicling the adventures of lively fun Seniors. Let’s that they address the issue of SAFE SEX in one of their episodes. (FYI you can find previous episodes on Cox On Demand- new ones on channel 180).
Don’t forget to read previous articles at wwwe.tinyurl.com/PhxSandy