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    Men on ED Drugs Get More STDs

    Sexually Transmitted Diseases Fairly Rare in Older Men, but Men Using Erectile Dysfunction Drugs at Higher Risk, Study Finds

    ED Drugs and STDs continued...

    Earlier research has found that people aged 50 and older are one-sixth less likely to use a condom and one-fifth less likely to be tested for HIV compared with people in their 20s.

    Health care providers need to recognize that their older adult patients who are on erectile dysfunction drugs are already at a higher risk of having or acquiring a sexually transmitted disease,” says Dana Goldman, PhD, study author and director of the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California (USC). “Both the physicians who prescribe these drugs and the pharmacists who fill those prescriptions should counsel all patients on the importance of safer sexual practices.”

    Safe Sex at Every Age

    In an accompanying editorial, Thomas Fekete, MD, section chief of infectious diseases at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, writes that “this study serves as a reminder that sex after age 40 years isn’t necessarily safe.”

    Fekete also noted the limitations of using insurance data to capture what is happening clinically. “The study is powerful, but not elegant,” he writes. “The study could not account for the participants’ frequency of sexual encounters, sexual practices, or the number or sex of their partners. Having this kind of information from a large general population would have great value."

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