Sex Ed for Seniors
February 17 2006 1:00 AM ET
Responding to rising HIV rates among adults over 55, Illinois health officials have launched a sex education program targeting seniors. The program focuses on HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention among seniors, who often don't perceive themselves to be at risk for the diseases and therefore are less likely to practice safer sex.
New HIV diagnoses among Illinois seniors climbed from 40 cases in 2001 to 132 in 2005, according to state health officials. Experts say two key reasons for the increase are that as HIVers are living longer they're putting more people at risk through unprotected sex, and that the widespread availability of erectile dysfunction drugs allows older men to engage in sex more regularly.