Sexually transmitted diseases are not just for the young, promiscuous, single people anymore; the prevalence among our elderly population has skyrocketed. According to the CDC the rates of syphilis and chlamydia in Florida have more than doubled in our over 40 population since 2000. The number of cases for syphilis has increased from 140 cases in 2000 to 488 cases in 2013. Similarly the cases of chlamydia have also increased from 693 cases in 2000 to 3,297 in 2013. To what do we owe these increases of people over 40 being infected with both syphilis and chlamydia to?
There are several factors influencing the prevalence of our senior citizens contracting sexually transmitted diseases. First, the availability of erectile dysfunction drugs has given men the ability have sex will into the golden years. According to a study in 2010 men taking Viagra or a similar type drug doubled the rate of sexually transmitted diseases compared to men not taking the drugs. A lot of single retirees in retirement communities similar to the Villages in central Florida are looking for companionship and are having sexual relations with multiple partners without the use of protection, which leads to the next factor, the lack of condom use. Seniors are six times less likely to use condoms than men in their twenties according to a study out of Mass General Hospital. Thirdly, seniors are not educated about the prevention of STD’s nor in the importance of the use of condoms in the prevention of spreading diseases such as syphilis and chlamydia.
Syphilis is a disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidu. It is spread from person to person by direct contact with a syphilitic sore. Syphilis is known as the “great pretender” disease because...
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... The major areas of concern worldwide is the impact on reproductive health, increasing the risk of HIV and mother-child transmission that can lead to neonatal death and or complications.
Some of the strategies to reduce the number of STD’s or STI’s of the World Health Organization (WHO) is to increase education of signs and symptoms of disease, counseling on safe sex, increase the use of condoms and making testing available for underdeveloped countries. This can be accomplished according to the WHO by increasing financing, increasing interventions of at risk populations, increasing access to services and knowledge of STD’s as well increasing innovations in the form of vaccines and microbicides.
One of the greatest prevention strategies with the senior population as well as around the globe, to educate people on the signs and symptoms and encourage safe sex.
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