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SENIOR STITIZENS; Health alert for Viagra generation.

Byline: LACHLAN MACKINNON

BED-HOPPING older Brits are endangering their health - by ignoring safe sex messages.

Cases of sexually-transmitted infections, including syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes and genital warts, among 50 to 90-yearolds have doubled in a decade.

Alongside this steep rise in STIs, new diagnoses of HIV in the over-50s have doubled between 2000 and 2009. Experts say drugs like Viagra may be partly to blame because they extend men's sex lives.

Jason Warriner, of HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "Whether you're 17 or 70, if you're having sex you need to know what the risks are and how to guard against them.

"Older people may feel less confident talking about condoms. Some may have come out of a lifelong relationship and never used one before.

"We need to make sure over-50s feel as comfortable using sexual health services as anyone else." The authors of the report, in the Student British Medical Journal, urged GPs not to "shy away" from discussing safe sex with patients, regardless of their age."

The Family Planning Association charity also said STI rates among over-45s had doubled since 2000.

100% The rise in sexually transmitted infections among 50 to 90-yearolds in the past decade

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 3, 2012
Words:209
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