Managing the rise in STIs among older adults

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A caller investigation reappraisal presented astatine a pre-congress time for this year's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID 2024, Barcelona, 27-30 April) will look astatine really to negociate nan emergence successful sexually transmitted infections (STIs) successful older people, specified arsenic gonorrhea, syphilis, and genital warts. It will attraction connected nan value of sex, intimacy, and intersexual wellness to nan Baby Boomer generation, particularly fixed that 1 successful 6 individuals worldwide will beryllium aged 60 and older by 2030. The position will beryllium fixed by Professor Justyna Kowalska from nan Medical University of Warsaw, Hospital for Infectious Diseases successful Warsaw, Poland-;who will item nan request for conversations astir older group and intersexual wellness to beryllium normalized.

Data from nan US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bespeak that rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis among US adults aged 55 and older person much than doubled complete nan past 10 years. For example, rates of gonorrhea among those aged 55 to 64 years roseate from astir 15 cases per 100,000 group successful 2015 to 57 per 100,000 successful 2019 [1]. In England, 31,902 caller STIs were recorded successful nan complete 45s successful 2015, which roseate to 37,692 successful 2019 – an summation of 18%, pinch nan mostly of caller diagnoses successful men who person activity pinch men [2]. High STI prevalence estimates person besides been reported much broadly successful older adults astir nan world, including China, Korea, Kenya, and Botswana.

Rising divorcement rates, forgoing condoms arsenic location is nary consequence of pregnancy, nan readiness of narcotics for intersexual dysfunction, nan ample number of older adults surviving together successful status communities, and nan accrued usage of making love apps are apt to person contributed to nan increasing incidence of STIs successful nan complete 50s. These information apt underestimate nan existent grade of nan problem arsenic constricted entree to intersexual wellness services for nan complete 50s, and trying to debar nan stigma and embarrassment some connected nan portion of older group and healthcare professionals, is starring to this property group not seeking thief for STIs."

Professor Justyna Kowalska from nan Medical University of Warsaw

Compounding nan problem are nan galore misconceptions astir sexuality and intersexual activity successful older adults, and nan value of activity and intimacy to older people's happiness and wellbeing. As Professor Kowalska explains, "People do not go asexual pinch age. In fact, pinch preventive medicine and improved lifestyles group are enjoying a patient life and activity life for longer. Older group often find greater restitution successful their activity lives owed to acquisition and known expectations. We request much domiciled models for illustration Samantha Jones successful nan TV show Sex and nan City to situation stereotypes astir older sexuality."

Although nan wave of intersexual activity tends to diminution pinch age, older adults are still having tons of sex. In a study successful England, half of men and almost a 3rd of women aged 70 and complete reported being sexually active. Similarly, successful a Swedish study, 46% of individuals aged 60 years and older reported being sexually active, arsenic did 10% of those aged 90 years aliases older.

Studies show higher levels of intersexual desire, greater intersexual frequency, and much intersexual partners among older men than women. A retrospective study from nan USA involving 420,790 couples aged 67 to 99 years, recovered that widowhood was associated pinch an accrued consequence of STIs successful older men, but not women. And nan effects successful men were larger aft sildenafil (Viagra), nan first phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (PDE5 inhibitor), deed nan market. Professor Kowalska says, "These findings bespeak that intersexual consequence taking is communal among older adults, peculiarly men. Given that nan number of group aged 60 years and older is group to double worldwide by 2050 and nan wide readiness of narcotics to heighten intersexual activity, wellness professionals must beryllium proactive successful discussing intersexual concerns and making intersexual wellness a regular portion of wide wellness attraction for older adults."

Although nan incidence of STIs among nan complete 50s is mini compared to younger property groups, it is rising, and Prof Kowalska will telephone for raising consciousness astir intersexual wellness successful older adults, explaining that they came of property astatine a clip erstwhile activity acquisition successful schoolhouse did not exist. "Sexual wellness campaigns are focused connected young group and place nan needs and experiences of those aged 50 and older", she says. "Health promotion messages springiness nan belief that condoms and concerns astir STIs only use to young people. But nan dangers of undiagnosed and untreated STIs specified arsenic HPV-related cancers and onwards transmission are very real, peculiarly successful this property group who are much apt to person underlying conditions specified arsenic bosom illness and stroke."

Prof Kowalska will besides item nan deficiency of grounds for utilizing connection to beforehand affirmative behaviors to trim nan dispersed of STIs successful older adults, peculiarly extracurricular nan USA and for infections different than HIV. "Increasing older adults' knowledge of nan consequence of STIs and really to prosecute successful safer sex is important to tackling grounds levels of STIs", says Professor Kowalska. "Tailoring acquisition programs to nan complete 50s and including adjacent support and ensuring they are located wrong existing organization settings is captious to their success." Ultimately she says, "Older group person a correct to bully intersexual health, truthful let's normalize conversations astir activity and older people, and alteration nan communicative connected aging."