New research has revealed a sharp rise in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among over-45s, raising concerns about older people's sexual health.
A study published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections revealed that rates of STIs have doubled among over-45s in less than a decade, possibly due to the failure of public health campaigns to target older age groups.
The study authors noted that older people may actually be more susceptible STIs "as they are less likely to use condoms than younger people".
According to the research, which monitored the number of different STIs diagnosed in 19 sexual health clinics in the West Midlands, a total of 4,445 infections were diagnosed between 1996 and 2003.
Forty-five per cent of these infections were due to genital warts, while nearly a fifth of diagnoses were herpes.
STI rates were highest in over-55s in men and among 45 to 54-year-old women, and analysis revealed that men were significantly more likely to have an STI than women.