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Yes, old people have sex. Having a healthy sex life is good for you emotionally and physically — no matter how old you are. But in the United States, elderly STD statistics show that STDs in people over 65 more than doubled between 2010 and 2020. The most common infections in this age group are chlamydia, HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea.

What’s going on?

There are different opinions on why STDs rates among the elderly are on the rise. It’s possible that medical advances to help with the sexual changes that come with aging — like hormone treatments and medications that help with desire, lubrication, and erection difficulties — mean more older people are having sex, which could lead to an increase in STDs. It’s also possible that more people who are older are using dating apps, which can lead to having more sex partners. 

Menopause may also be a factor. When you go through menopause, your periods go away and you can no longer get pregnant. So it’s possible that some people who are older stop using condoms and other barrier methods at this point because they’re no longer worried about pregnancy. 

No matter how old you are, if you’re having sex, it’s important to practice safer sex. Anybody who has oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex, genital skin-to-skin contact, or who shares sexual fluids with another person can get STDs

Getting tested for STDs regularly is important, even if you always use barriers like condoms and feel totally fine. Most people with STDs don’t have symptoms or know they’re infected, and they can easily pass the infection to their partners. So testing is the only way to know for sure whether or not you have an STD.
Want to get tested? Make an appointment for STD testing at your nearest Planned Parenthood health center.

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