Indiana News

Kinsey Institute Researcher Cites Rise In STDs Among Seniors

1/29/2014

A researcher at Indiana University's famed Kinsey Institute says it's true.

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There's a significant rise in sexually transmitted diseases among the nation's single, senior population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that STDs are rapidly rising in some senior communities. Chlamydia infections increased by 31 percent while syphilis infections rose by 52 percent among seniors from 2007-2011. The CDC says those figures are rivaling those for Americans in their 20s. One report says STD rates have doubled among 50 to 90 year olds in the past decade.

Debbie Herbenick is a research scientist and sexual health educator at the Kinsey Institute. Herbenick says the good news is that many seniors are remaining healthy and sexually active above the age of 65. However, she says many are having unsafe sex with partners following divorce or the death of a spouse. She says many are facing the issue after having been with one partner for decades. Herbenick says post-menopausal women are often at greater risk for infections. She also says many older men who are prone to erectile dysfunction may avoid using condoms.

Herbenick says sex doesn't have to vanish as we age, but it's critical that senior facilities provide residents with the proper counseling and information they need to remain safe, healthy and happy.

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