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In recent years, a new at-risk group has been identified that has been relatively invisible until now: sexually active women aged 50 years or older.
The authors discuss the educational and primary care needs of these women so that their risk for developing STIs can be reduced.
Although some of these women came of age during the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s, their parents, from a more conservative generation, may not have discussed sex with them when they were children.
Similarly, in another cross-sectional study of 1,977 women aged 45-80, 60% reported being sexually active in the previous 3 months.However, women aged 50 or older today differ from women of previous generations with respect to both their attitudes toward sexuality and the availability of sexual partners as they age.An increasing number of single women in the 50 age bracket are dating and seeking romantic sexual partners.Failure to discuss these topics leaves many women in the dark about how to safely navigate new sexual relationships.
Studies show that a lower level of knowledge and risk perception for STI transmission can be linked to RSB, a reduction in the intent to use condoms during sexual encounters, and a lower level of testing for STIs.More often than not, sexually active single older adults who are dating are not using condoms.In fact, among female respondents fitting this category in the 2009 AARP survey, only 32% reported using condoms regularly.These older adults are more likely to be diagnosed with HIV later in the course of their disease, usually because they are unaware of risk factors.