National STI Awareness Day

Ahead of National STI Day (14th January 2020) doctors warn of dangers of leaving STIs untreated, particularly in older people.

Despite confirmed cases of STIs increasing amongst older people, since 2017 Pall Mall Medical has seen a 97% reduction in over 45s being tested for STIs and STDs and want to use National STI Day (14th January) as an opportunity to raise awareness of the sharp decline and highlight the importance of booking a STI check with your local clinic, if you are sexually active.

As divorce rates increase, a wave of over 45’s are looking for new partners after long periods spent in committed relationships – and if women are post-menopausal, or men have undergone a vasectomy, they don’t always consider contraception as a requirement.

Historically, there has been little discussion of the sex lives of older people. Misconceptions may exist because people don’t want to face the reality of thinking about their parents and grandparents being sexually active! This means that STI and STD campaigns usually focus on a younger audience which might be the reason for the rise in STI’s and STD’s in the over 45’s.

Another contributing factor besides divorce is the simple fact that we are all living longer thanks to the greater access to medication over last few decades. This means that older people engage in physical activity for longer periods than they ever have before. Both men and women also now have the access to a new chemical lease of life for example; Viagra and hormone replacement therapy.

Despite confirmed cases of STIs increasing amongst older people, since 2017 Pall Mall Medical has seen a 97% reduction in over 45s being tested for STIs and STDs. Latest research shows that a record number in the over-65 age bracket are being diagnosed with the likes of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, with a 23% increase reported in diagnoses of STIs between 2014 and 2018.

In 2018 alone, there were nearly three times more new diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections among men aged 45-64 than among women in the same age group. Men in this age group received 23,943 diagnoses of STIs, an 18% increase since 2014, while women received 8,837 diagnoses, a 4% increase since 2014.

It is thought the decrease in testing may be attributed to embarrassment or reluctance to visit a health professional and take a test thanks to negative and outdated stereotypes of sex and intimacy in later life. At Pall Mall all of our STD and STI tests can be performed in a simple ‘test-only’ appointment with a Nurse – ideal if you just want a short and discreet visit. Find out more or book an appointment here.