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J Gerontol Nurs. 2013 Nov;39(11):53-60. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20130918-01. Epub 2013 Sep 24.

Sexually transmitted infections and older adults.


Older adults continue to be sexually active in their later years. A range of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV have been reported among older adults. Risk factors for STIs in older populations include (a) normal sexual changes associated with aging (e.g., increased time to attain an erection, decreased vaginal lubrication, decreases in sexual hormones); (b) psychosocial changes (e.g., loss of partner or spouse and re-entering the dating scene); and (c) risky sexual behaviors, including no or infrequent use of condoms. Screening of adults for STIs should occur regardless of age based on guidelines such as those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. As discussed in this article, nurses can use assessment guides and engage in interventions such as counseling and education with older adults to reduce STI risk or refer for treatment. Numerous online resources exist for both nurses and older adults to increase knowledge of STIs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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