Contrary to popular perception, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are not solely the province of the young. Older adults can, and do, contract STDs, including chlamydia, syphillis, gonorrhea, herpes, and HIV/AIDS.
Transmission of STDs in Older Adults
Diagnosis of STDs in Older Adults
Treatment of STDs in Older Adults
Even when STDs are detected in older adults, physicians sometimes believe that treatment isn't worthwhile. In younger adults, two of the main reasons treatment is emphasized are the need to prevent spread of the infection to additional partners, and the desire to preserve reproductive ability. Physicians will sometimes erroneously assume that older adults have few sexual partners, and that the risk of spreading the infection is therefore low. Furthermore, even if older adults are no longer able to or interested in conceiving, the long-term effects of STDs can create significant problems, including increased risk of contracting additional STDs and developing reproductive cancers.
Some of the medications which are seen as standard treatment for common STDs are not appropriate for use in some older adults, especially those with liver or kidney problems or who are on certain chronic medications.