Current Infectious Disease Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 182–187

HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections, and Sexuality in Later Life



In this article, we review recent evidence indicating that people over the age of 50 years are increasingly at risk of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and that—thanks to the success of highly active antiretroviral therapies—those infected with HIV are now living into older age. We show that health professionals and society in general have been reluctant to acknowledge sexuality in older adults. Sexuality until recently has been regarded as merely a matter of male potency and sexual function, whereas older women’s sexuality and desires have been ignored. Changing patterns of sexual practices, including high rates of divorce and partner change in the older age groups, indicate that focus and concern with sex and sexuality in later life will become part of routine prevention and maintenance of sexual health.


Older persons AIDS HIV Sexually transmitted infections Sexual health Sexuality Ageism Sex Gender 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of The ProfessionsUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  2. 2.School of Behavioural, Cognitive, and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and SciencesUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  3. 3.Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health, and SocietyLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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