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Published on 13 September 2010 04:30 PM



The Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Wales has backed a new UK-wide campaign this week to highlight the increase of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among the over 50s.

The campaign, led by the Family Planning Association, will run alongside national Sexual Health Week from 13 – 19 September.

It is a misconception that medical warnings about safe sex are only for the young and although pregnancy may be less of a worry for the over 50s, the risk of STIs is still prevalent.

This may be down to increases in divorce and as people move on to new partners or are actively dating, many fail to follow the recommendation to use condoms.

Dr Jane Wilkinson, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Wales, said:

“More often than not the assumption is that STIs only affect young people but this is not the case. Where sexual health campaigns have previously been aimed at a younger age group, we welcome the Family Planning Association’s push to improve awareness of the issues for over 50s.

"Ensuring access to confidential, sexual health services and information is seen as central to improving the sexual health of people in Wales and reducing the increasing rates of sexually transmitted infections.

“All NHS patients in Wales have access to prompt and expert sexual health services including HIV and STI testing and routine contraception advice, provided by appropriate specialists, within two working days.”

Rhian Pearce, Health Initiatives Officer for Age Cymru said:

“Age Cymru is pleased to promote the first national sexual health campaign for the over 50s in Wales.  Patterns of relationships are changing in our older population in comparison to previous generations, and people are more likely to start new relationships in later life after divorce or the death of a spouse or partner.

“STIs do not discriminate and you are at risk no matter what your age or sexual orientation if you are having unprotected sex.  We strongly encourage older people in Wales to think carefully about safe sex when dating or starting a new relationship and to get tested if you think you may have a STI.”

Julie Bentley, Chief Executive of the Family Planning Association, said:

“Poor sexual health and STIs affect many people over 50 and FPA is delighted that the Age Cymru and the Welsh Assembly Government is supporting our ‘The Middle age Spread (STIs in the over 50s)’ campaign and raising awareness across Wales of this important issue.”


For more information: Call Age Cymru Advice: 08000 223 444