Taboo around older people having sex a barrier to getting support says HIV charity

Taboo around older people having sex a barrier to getting support says HIV charity
News
Posted on 26 Feb 2020

A negative narrative surrounding sex and older people is stopping the over-50s from getting the support and services they need, according to Terrence Higgins Trust (THT). 


Between 2017 and 2018 the largest proportional increases of gonorrhoea and chlamydia were reported in people aged 65 and older (gonorrhoea was up 42%, from 236 to 336; chlamydia 24%, from 416 to 517).  

Similarly, the proportion of new HIV diagnoses reported in the over-50s increased from 13% in 2009 to 21% in 2018, and the rate of late diagnoses continues to be highest in this age group (58% in 50 to 64 year-olds; 64% in people aged 65-plus). 


“Despite this trend, the sexual activity of older people remains taboo in many areas of society,” says THT’s HIV & Ageing Lead, Clive Blowes. “There is a tendency to desexualise people once they reach a certain age, resulting in a reluctance among many health professionals to openly discuss sexual health with older patients.

"We cannot separate our sexual health from our physical or mental health. Not only does this influence potential health outcomes, but it can also impact self-esteem, confidence and how relationships are perceived. Ultimately, this may make people avoid seeking help with problems related to their sexual health in the future.


“We must recognise the sexual relationships of our older population. They might change over the years but they are still enjoyable, valid and important for wellbeing. It’s time to change the negative narrative surrounding sex and older people and address the barriers that exclude older people from getting the support and services they need.”

HAVE YOUR SAY

Tell us what you think below...

Join our Newsletter today!

More from News...

Most Popular Stories

  • It's finally arrived! The UK’s first ever LGBT-dedicated TV channel to launch next week News

    It's finally arrived! The UK’s first ever LGBT-dedicated TV channel to launch next week

    More
  • Birmingham Pride postponed until September News

    Birmingham Pride postponed until September

    More
  • Midlands drag queens join forces to live-stream shows into people's homes News

    Midlands drag queens join forces to live-stream shows into people's homes

    More
  • Expert issues coronavirus sex warning for couples who don't live together News

    Expert issues coronavirus sex warning for couples who don't live together

    More
  • Gays to blame for coronavirus pandemic says President Trump’s Bible study minister News

    Gays to blame for coronavirus pandemic says President Trump’s Bible study minister

    More
  • Gay Birmingham dancer tells of nightmare lockdown with homophobic Christian parents News

    Gay Birmingham dancer tells of nightmare lockdown with homophobic Christian parents

    More
  • Grindr killer sentenced to minimum 24 years for teenager’s brutal murder News

    Grindr killer sentenced to minimum 24 years for teenager’s brutal murder

    More