These are our parents and grandparents and, if we’re over 55, our friends, our neighbors, our significant others, and even ourselves. Clearly, as was the case when we worked to slow the spread of HIV in the 1980s and 90s, the main thrust must be education—both nationally and at the grassroots level.
Additionally, clinicians need to address the STD issue by including questions about sexual activity in their senior citizen patient assessments.
In other words, the concept of catching chlamydia from the girl (or the grandma) next door is not something that likely crosses most seniors’ minds.
As such, as far as the AARP generation is concerned, if tonight’s lucky lady is post-menopausal (no danger of pregnancy), then there’s no need for a condom and hooray for us old folks for not having to worry about that.
This, of course, resulted in a generation of kids who grew up thinking girls get pregnant by sitting on unwashed toilet seats.
In fact, pretty much the only members of today’s senior set that ever formally learned about STDs and the need for condoms received that education as soldiers, and for them the warnings were only in regard to “ladies of the night” in foreign ports.