By Michael Johnson
If you’re an adult aged 50 or older who is still sexually active, it is important to take charge of your sexual health. Your body goes through many physical changes as you get older and these changes can have a negative effect on your sex life. Whether going through andropause or menopause it is important to acknowledge and understand the physical and psychological changes you may be going through. Talking to your doctor may help you to better understand any of the changes you are experiencing. It is also important to have an open, honest dialogue with your partner(s) so that you can better understand each other’s expectations and limitations. If you are sexually active, you are not exempt from contracting an STD’s/STI’s because of your age. In fact, according to the CDC:
- People aged 55 and older accounted for 26% of all Americans living with diagnosed or undiagnosed HIV infection in 2013.
- People aged 50 and older have the same HIV risk factors as younger people, but may be less aware of their HIV risk factors.
- Older Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with HIV infection later in the course of their disease.
No matter your age it is important to practice safer sex which includes the use of condoms, proper lubrication, and getting tested regularly. Sex does not have to stop because you are getting older but neither does being smart and safe about your sexual health.
Visit the American Sexual Health Association to find out more ways in which you can take charge of your sexual health this month.