Scary news from TIME: a study published last week by the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections found that the rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are on the rise. Amongst study participants, from 1996 to 2003 total cases of chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis and genital warts for people over 45 increased 127%, even more than for patients under age 45 ( 97%). Dr. Sharon Lee, a Kansas City family physician and medical director of HIV Wisdom for Older Women, points to a lack of sex ed as a critical reason for this increase. She says that “as people get older, they don’t worry about pregnancy as much,” and without education about STDs, many older people believe infertility negates the need for protection.
So what should you do? Start by having an honest dialogue with your sexual partner and with your doctor. If you’re not sure where to start, you can read more about love and relationships on AARP’s website.
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