Let’s talk about sex over 60: condoms, casual partners and the ageing body.
Over the past few years we’ve seen a dramatic rise in the rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among Australians aged 60 years and older. Rates of gonorrhoea more than doubled in this age group between 2007 and 2011. Rates of chlamydia also rose significantly during this time, mirroring similar trends internationally.
STIs can be accompanied by some unpleasant symptoms and health complications, or lead to major chronic conditions, in the case of HIV. It’s therefore important STIs are diagnosed and treated, regardless of age.
To understand why STIs are on the rise, we need to know more about older people’s sexual and romantic relationships, their knowledge of STIs and safe sex, and the safe sex practices that they use. However, older people are routinely excluded from research on sex and relationships. Here’s what we know so far.