Uh-oh, looks like it's time to have "the talk." According to a new study, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are climbing among a certain segment of the population. You'll be relieved to know that it's not your teen you need to worry about — it's your parents!
According to a study published in the Student British Medical Journal
, rates of sexually transmitted disease among U.S., Canadian and British baby boomers have doubled over the last decade as fewer seniors are practicing safe sex. The study also found that 80 percent of adults between 50 and 90 years of age are sexually active.
Data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that there were 706 cases of syphilis diagnosed among U.S. adults aged 45-54 in 2000 and 179 in those aged 55-64; by 2010 the numbers had risen to 2,056 and 493, respectively.
A similar increase was seen in cases of Chlamydia. In 2010, there were 16,106 in the 45-54 age group diagnosed with the Chlamydia, versus 5,601 in 2000, and 1,110 cases in adults aged 55-64 in 2000, compared with 3,523 in 2010.
Comparable numbers were noted among Canadian and British seniors.
Maybe it's the Viagra. Maybe it's the fact that most seniors never had "sex-ed" in high school. Or maybe it's that more and more seniors are living in retirement communities, social hotspots for swinging single seniors. But regardless, STD rates are soaring among seniors.
So, do you need to have "the talk" with your parents (or grandparents)? If you feel comfortable, go for it. But it's probably easier to do what the study's authors suggest — request that health care providers add sex-ed information to their older patients' regular checkups.
Oh, and it might not hurt to throw a few condoms in grandma's purse the next time you visit. Hey, you never know!