Journal List > J Korean Med Assoc > v.62(6) > 1126802

Lee: What is the current status of sexually transmitted infections in the elderly?

Abstract

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the elderly are a social problem that can no longer be ignored due to rapid population aging and the growing proportion of elderly people who continue to engage in sexual activity. An accurate assessment of the current status of STIs in the elderly, as well as their sexual behavior, is a prerequisite for public STI prevention and education campaigns and for future studies on the subject. Numerous studies have found a growing incidence of STIs among the elderly population. In South Korea, a recent analysis of the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service database between 2010 and 2016 showed that the prevalence of STIs was not high and that it had remained stable in recent years, implying that STIs are not currently a significant public health issue in South Korea, unlike in other countries. The reported proportion of sexually active elderly individuals was higher than expected (40% to 60%, for both sexes). The rate of condom use is generally very low among the elderly, usually because they are past their reproductive age. In a South Korean survey-based study, approximately 42% of elderly South Koreans were sexually active, and the rate of condom use was also very low (under 15%). Although STIs are not currently a significant public health issue in South Korea, several sexual health behaviors found in numerous studies, such as the very low rate of condom use, together with rapid population aging, call for ongoing monitoring of STIs in the elderly population.

Notes

Conflict of Interest No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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Seung-Ju Lee
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0072-8010

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