Cork GP urges people to seek treatment as over-70s present with STIs

The Cork doctor said that more older people are also taking holidays abroad, with some overlooking the risks accompanying unprotected intercourse.
Cork GP urges people to seek treatment as over-70s present with STIs

A total of 5,910 cases of HIV and STIs were notified nationally up to week 21 of this year, of which 50 cases were in people aged 60 and older. Picture: HSE/ SH24.ie

A CORK GP has spoken about seeing patients in their late 70s presenting with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and he encouraged people to come forward if they are worried they may have contracted an infection, warning that STIs do not differentiate between ages.

Former Lord Mayor and Fianna Fáil councillor John Sheehan, who has a GP practice in Blackpool, has said that young people are often demonised for excessive alcohol consumption and engaging in casual sex while on holiday.

However, he stressed that more older people are also taking holidays abroad, with some overlooking the risks accompanying unprotected intercourse.

“People are more active into their older years now,” Dr Sheehan said.

“They are taking more risks. I would have people coming to me in their late 70s whose perception is that sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections are something that only happen to young people.

“The truth is that infections and bacteria don’t respect age. They don’t respect race, gender, or wealth.

“When alcohol is introduced into the equation the normal barriers drop and people start to make decisions that they wouldn’t normally make.

“This can happen during the teenage years right up to the 70s and 80s.”

The frontline worker urged people not to be embarrassed about their symptoms.

“The best advice I can give people is to take precautions and be sensible. If you are worried come and get checked.

“If the condition can’t be cured, the chances are it can be managed.

“The important thing to remember is that you are not going to be judged. If you have something you are worried about it’s always better to get it checked than spending your time worrying about it.

“This is the first summer we’ve had in three years where everything is fully opened.

“Since the restrictions were lifted, people have been taking more risks than they might have before — many of which they may come to regret.”

Dr Sheehan’s remarks come two-and-a-half years after Dr Martin Davoren from the Sexual Health Centre in Cork reported a significant increase in older people visiting the facility.

Despite operating since 1987, Dr Davoren said that dealing with older service users with STIs — infections passed through sexual contact — was a relatively new phenomenon.

He put much of this down to a lack of education.

Figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre show that 3,793 cases of HIV and STIs were reported nationally in the first quarter of the year, with 27 of those in people aged 60 or older.

A total of 5,910 cases of HIV and STIs were notified nationally up to week 21 of this year, of which 50 cases were in people aged 60 and older.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130
EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more