Women UK looks at some of the reasons behind the growing numbers of STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) in our ageing population.
Greater longevity and improved health mean that a phase of life never previously seen now exists. This is now an extended middle-age for people who are fit, competent and interested in sex!
In fact, people over 60 are now the fastest-growing group contracting sexually transmitted diseases, according to government agency figures. Since 2002, syphilis has tripled in the over-65s in the UK, and HIV is up by 60 per cent.
Unlike their fortysomething children who would have grown up in the shadow of AIDS, the Baby Boomers are blissfully promiscuous, with no interest in condoms for protection, as they never learnt to fear sexual diseases and let’s face it, there is no fear of pregnancy at this age.
The Baby Boomers’ laid-back attitude is no doubt also due to being young in the Sixties and Seventies, when they were the first generation to enjoy the freedom of the Pill. As many of them are now into their second marriages, or merely a string of relationships post-bereavement or divorce – they have simply reverted to that relaxed mind set.
If you add in the lack of need to worry about contraception, plus the improved sexual drive caused by hormone replacement therapy (both oestrogen for women and testosterone for men), and the help of drugs such as Viagra and Cialis in cases of erectile dysfunction, the older generation have never felt more able to have a confident, enjoyable, second sex life. And this is exactly what they are doing.
Given that they are also among the most enthusiastic users of the internet, allowing them to find and change partners with ease, is it any wonder that the over-60s are so promiscuous? Internet dating in our older generation is big business and allows for new relationships without any of the usual strings attached.
A survey by the over-50s magazine Saga found that two-thirds of men and women aged 60-64 said they were still sexually active, with almost half of those getting between the sheets at least once a week.
For information on STDs – visit www.fpa.org.uk