Another way of looking at it: Seniors had a fraction—far less than 1 percent—of the number of STDs that young adults did.
Still, the increases concern health officials because STDs were rare among seniors in the past.
Blame Viagra, or just the fact that Americans are living longer, healthier lives.
For many reasons, sexually transmitted diseases (more accurately referred to as sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, because it's possible to be infected without developing any signs or symptoms) are rising among older adults, with potentially serious health consequences.
Factors Contributing to Increase in STDs in Older Adults: New trends in medicine have given men medications for erectile dysfunction such as Viagra and Cialis.
These drugs have enabled more men to engage in sexual activity throughout their older years.
It is essential that older adults and their caregivers get educated about the risks of STDs.
It’s a widower’s paradise, and the word on the street is that there’s a big black market for Viagra.
According to the CDC, there were more than six new cases of STDs per 10,000 men over 40 in 2008 - up almost 50 percent since 1996.
America is also experiencing a high mid-life divorce rate.
"It's true that most people who have had sex get HPV at some point in their lives," confirms Shea.
In addition to that, "About 1 out of 6 American adults have genital herpes, and they may not always know because they never had, or noticed, herpes symptoms." Still, that doesn't mean will get either, or both.