Senior STDs: A Special Report

Gonorrhea and grandpa? Syphilis and your sweet mother? It's absolutely disgusting to talk about, but it's not as farfetched as you want to believe.

Centers for Disease Control report finds cases of Chlamydia and syphilis among people 55 and older shot up 43% since 2005.

"You want to assume they know that and they can teach you and things as far as those types of talks," said Mitchell-Hollingsworth Administrator, Brian Scheri. The 15-year healthcare employee has seen a lot. He said activities at his assisted living center aren't just scheduled, they're encouraged.

"A lot of relationships, friendships are developed," said Scheri.

And what happens after bingo night or the non-alcoholic happy hour is none of his business.

"One of the things that is key [at any nursing home] is the right to privacy," said Scheri.

He has never had to have "the talk" with his residents, but he's also not naive about the birds and the bees. He claims his industry is constantly evolving, and he says those talks could happen down the road.

"You think someone in their 60's, 70's or 80's is too old for that stuff, but actually they're just an older version of you," said Helen Keller Hospital's Susan Bentley.

Click here to read an article on the debate of Medicare Senior STD Screening.

Bentley works as a nurse practitioner and blames the senior STD upswing on several factors. First, seniors are more active than they've ever been, both physically and sexually. Second, drugs like Viagra have helped make the impossible possible. Finally, seniors are not thinking about protection.

"The bacteria and the viruses that cause STDs don't check ID cards before they come calling," said Bentley.

Bentley suggests getting checked no matter your age.  The experts agree you should also have "the talk" with your parents or grandparents as uncomfortable as it may be. Without it they could face a serious medical concern.

For more information on help with STDs, click here.

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