Sexual Health Week 2010
Hampshire Community Health Care (HCHC) has issued the following press release in support of sexual health week:
“This year Sexual Health Week, between the 13 -19 September, is focussing on sexual health in the over 40’s. We know that Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) are rising in this group faster than in young people.
With a changing world and changing relationships many people Over 40 are starting new relationships, coming out of long term relationships and changing the way in which they meet people through use of the Internet and international travel. Many of these people had little or no sexual health education when they were younger and have little knowledge about the risks of sexually transmitted infections or condom use. We know that many in this group are disinterested in condom use because of the low risk of pregnancy.
Recent health promotion messages have been focused on young people and we want to redress the balance with this campaign. It is important that older people feel confident about accessing good quality sexual health information and do not feel embarrassed to talk about sex and their sexual health.
We would like you to promote sexual health services for older people by putting up these posters in your building and making sure that they are accessible for all.
If you think that your staff would benefit from some free training about sexual health or would like posters please contact the HIV Prevention Service Team on 0845 643 9399.
We thank you for your help in our campaign”
On Behalf of the HIV Prevention Service Team
Tel: 0845 643 9399
Sex and the Over 40’s
- Information is lacking, difficult to find or non-existent for this age group
- Condom use is poor
- Risk perception is low
- Signs and Symptoms are often ignored, misdiagnosed or unrecognised
Challenges and barriers for healthcare providers
- The signs and symptoms of STI’s may look like the normal signs of ageing, for example irregular periods and vaginal soreness.
- Older people are perceived as being less sexually active, so we also perceive them to be lower risk.
- Older people are less likely to be aware of signs and symptoms of STI’s
- Older people are less confident or consistent about condom use
- Older people are less likely to ask for help about sex and sexual health due to embarrassment
Challenges and barriers for people over 40
- Sex and sexual health information is often designed for young people, it therefore seems irrelevant
- Previous sex and sexual health education was poor or non-existent, there is therefore a knowledge/skills gap
- They are unsure where to access free support, advice and information
- This group may misunderstand their risk or be unable to relate risk to their experiences
- This group may lack the skills of confident and consistent condom use
Popularity: 55% [?]