Sexually transmitted infections—also known as STIs or
venereal diseases—are infections passed from person to person through sexual
intercourse, genital contact, or contact with semen, vaginal fluids, or
Older people may think of STIs as a problem that affects
only young people. But because of physical changes related to age, older adults
who are exposed to STIs may be more likely than young people to get STIs.
As you age, your immune system is not as strong, so it's harder to
fight off disease. And women who are past menopause have thinner vaginal walls
and less vaginal moisture than they did before menopause. Using a lubricant,
such as K-Y Jelly, may keep you from getting a sore or a tiny cut on your penis
or inside your vagina. This can reduce your risk of getting STIs or
Practice safer sex. For older adults,
this means always using
condoms and lubricants until you are in a monogamous
relationship and know your partner's sexual history and HIV status.
STIs can affect anyone, no matter what his or her age. Talk openly with
your partner about STIs, and take whatever precautions are needed to protect
yourself before you engage in any form of sexual contact. If you
think you may have an STI, see your doctor.
For more information, see: