According to data from Public Health England, STIs are now more common among middle-aged men than teenage boys.
The research shows that while 21,438 infections, including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, were recorded among boys aged 13 to 19, it was men aged between 45 and 64 who were more likely to be diagnosed with an STI in 2018, with 23,943 of them receiving the dreaded news.
Public Health England’s analysis showed an 18 per cent jump in cases of STIs among middle-aged men since 2014, with some experts putting the rise down to dating apps like Tinder and Grindr keeping older people sexually active for longer.
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director, said: ‘Sex continues to be important for many of us well into old age, but for some reason the whole topic remains taboo in some circles. This is a shame and it also means that sexually active older people are at greater risk of STIs than they need to be or ought to be.
“Health professionals should be open about discussing sexual health with older people and certainly not immediately jump to the conclusion that sex is irrelevant once you pass a certain birthday.”
Sexually active older people are at greater risk of STIs than they need to be or ought to be
While the rate at which middle-aged men contract STIs has jumped, rates of STIs reported among teenage boys have fallen by 16 per cent over the same period.
Speaking to The Sun, Katherine O’Brien, from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service claimed that teenagers today are less interested in sex than their parents and have swapped sex for sexting.
“‘The decline in STI diagnosis among young people may be reflective of the huge shift in teen lifestyles,” said O’Brien.