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Even baby boomers should practice safer sex

(NC) Sex is sex is sex. When it comes to sexually transmitted infections, age is not a protective factor. Even middle-aged and older Canadians should be careful when having unprotected sex. Baby boomers who may be re-entering the dating scene again after losing a partner to death or divorce may be at particular risk.

Sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and infectious syphilis are rising in Canada, which means all Canadians, even older adults, should take precautions when having sex. While most sexually transmitted infections can be treated and cured, some infections, such as certain strains of gonorrhea are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, yet another reason to have smarter, safer sex.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, reported rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and infectious syphilis have increased significantly among middle aged and older adults over the past decade. The increase could be due to a combination of factors—that many baby boomers don't use condoms as they are not worried about an unplanned pregnancy; are not aware that condoms also protect against sexually transmitted infections; that baby boomers may have and transmit sexually transmitted infections; that unprotected oral, vaginal and anal sex are all risk factors for becoming infected; that having sex in one monogamous relationship after another is no guarantee of protection, and finally, that testing for sexually transmitted infections is less invasive and more reliable these days.

No matter what age you are, you can reduce your chances of getting a sexually transmitted infection by avoiding high risk behaviours, taking precautions and most of all getting tested. Abstaining from sex is the only way to completely protect yourself from a sexually transmitted infection.

Be proactive about your sexual health and talk to your doctor or visit your local sexual health clinic. Make sure you ask to be tested specifically for sexually transmitted infections as they aren't tested for in routine blood and urine tests.

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