Thursday, March 10, 2011

Medicare could cover tests for soaring STD rate in senior citizens

By BILL TOLAND, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Taxpayers could soon be picking up the tab for new sexually transmitted disease screenings for seniors, as well as other Medicare recipients.

More than a decade after Viagra and its ilk began helping boomers and seniors to enjoy conjugal relations more frequently, sexually transmitted disease rates are up dramatically in the over-40 age bracket.

And while wisdom is supposed to come with age, studies have also shown that men over 50 -- regardless of marital status -- are six times less likely to use a condom than men in their 20s, partly because, by that age, they (and their partner) are less worried about pregnancy.

Add in improved senior health and a higher divorce rate, and the result nearly seems inevitable: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, STD rates are up by almost 50 percent for men over 40 between 1996 and 2008.


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