High numbers of over 40s are being diagnosed with STIs
11th June 2012
An increasingly worrying lax attitude in the over 40s to 60s and even beyond, has been blamed for the rising number of STIs in this age group. Although the rates of infection are still highest in adults aged between 18 to 30, STI cases are becoming a lot more prevalent within older people. Now, as we enter the summer months, Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust are trying to urge those who are travelling abroad for their holidays, to show some degree of caution and look after themselves. Jim McVicker, Clinical Director for Liverpool Community Health Sexual Health Services, spoke out on the issue, “At the end of each summer, we see a significant increase in the number of people attending our sexual health clinics with concerns about STIs following a holiday abroad – so we want to encourage everyone to relax and enjoy themselves on holiday, but also to be sensible and stay safe.” There are a number of factors being blamed for the surprising surge in STIs in the over 40s. For example, many people in this age group will probably have been in long term relationships for a number of years, where issues such as contraception and going for regular sexual health checks, will not have been a major worry. Also as more and more people are finding themselves divorced and single, they may suddenly start to enjoy their new single status and may have multiple sexual partners. McKiver further commented, “Being the wrong side of 40 myself, I can identify with the problems that the older generation may have.” Effective erectile dysfunction treatment such as Viagra, was the focus of a study regarding STIs in the older generation in a story that Medical Specialists Pharmacy first reported about almost two years ago, however this medication is purely to help men suffering with impotence to achieve an erection, and cannot be blamed for the STI rise. Only two weeks ago we further analysed the attitudes of sexually active adults, and there were some shocking results. In this particular online study, one third of the women questioned stated that they get 'swept away in the moment' and forget about using condoms, 18% of single women said they are often too drunk to use contraception and 8% said they ‘just don't like using condoms’. Some of the familiar STI symptoms to be aware of include abnormal discharge, bleeding after sex or between periods and pain or discomfort when urinating. Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, with 186,753 people in England testing positive for this during 2010. Up to 70 per cent of people do not experience any symptoms of infection and it can cause infertility in both men and women. The only way of checking if you have a chlamydia infection is to take a chlamydia test such as the Clamelle test kit, available from just £24.85 at Medical Specialists Pharmacy. Genital herpes is another common STI, especially seen in people aged between 20 to 24 years. In 2008, it was reported that roughly 29,000 people attended a sexual health clinic in the UK with a first clinical attack of genital herpes. An effective medication for this is Valtrex, which is an antiviral drug that contains valaciclovir. It slows the growth and spread of the herpes virus so that the body can fight off the infection. It is a prescription medication licensed to treat several conditions related to infections with the herpes virus. We have recently lowered the price of Valtrex, and you can now obtain this medication from as little as £3.50 per tablet. The consistent and correct use of male latex condoms can reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections. Popular condoms include the Durex and Skins brand of condoms, which are both available at the Medical Specialists Pharmacy Chemist Shop.