Pensioners Given Free Condoms
1st March 2019
The so called ‘baby boomers’ and pensioners will be given free condoms in an effort to stem the ride of increasing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the older generations. The NHS campaign is the first of its kind and some may be surprised to learn it is targeting a demographic that may have believed their personal worries about catching such infections were a thing of the past. The three-month campaign, named ‘Jiggle, Wiggle’, will primarily target older, mature people in Derbyshire, where local NHS services will dish out free-of-charge condoms via GP surgeries, as well at community venues and even at food banks. This comes as recent statistics have found a rise in STIs within the over 60s. The statistics have come from Public Health England (PHE) and it was discovered that in those over the age of 65, 216 males diagnosed with gonorrhoea in 2017, compared with just 173 in 2016. In addition, a quarter more women in the same age group were diagnosed with herpes in 2017 than during 2016. The most common type of STI – Chlamydia - is still also a big problem. Chlamydia has seen a rise of 15% in the over 65s in 2017 than in the previous year. An expert warned back in October that more people are getting STIs due to a large increase in the use of mobile dating apps. Apps such as Tinder and Bumble have been accused of making it easier for people to meet for casual – and often unprotected – sex as well as making it an attractive proposition for people to quickly change partners. A 44-page brochure called 'Older People in Care Homes: Sex, Sexuality and Intimate Relationship' was given to elderly residents across Derbyshire in November, which aimed to help those in the county’s care homes ‘sexually express' themselves. “There has been a rise in the number of STIs and HIV diagnosis in older residents and this group of people are sometimes forgotten in sexual health campaigns and interventions,” a trust spokesman said. He said: “The campaign will target an older demographic, making it clear that safer sex still applies and also promoting that sexual health services are for them too – challenging their view that services are ‘not for them’.” Rebecca Spencer, general manager of the project, said: “Although most STIs are diagnosed in people aged 15-to-24, STIs are not just prevalent in young people. “If you're having sex, look after your sexual health matters. We want to make residents aware that sexual health services are not just for young people - they are for all people.”