AMARILLO, TX - STD's among senior citizens across the nation and right here in Amarillo are on the rise.
New research published by the British Medical Journal says 80 percent of seniors are sexually active.
"We are living longer and we are healthier," Clinical Sexologist Kaye Renshaw said. "A healthy sexual relationship is a possibility until death."
However, local doctors are now saying many older adults are failing to use protection.
"Once you pass menopause, you don't have to worry about pregnancy," Margaret Dean with the Texas Tech Health Science Center said.
There are several diseases many should worry about though.
Numbers from the Centers for Disease Control say incidences of syphilis and chlamydia in adults aged 45 to 64 have nearly tripled in the last decade.
Causes of gonorrhea are up as well.
"If you have HIV, you have chlamydia and syphilis and all the other diseases that go along with a sexually transmitted disease," Dean said.
Though many seniors go to the doctor for routine blood work and check ups, Dean says they may be carrying one of these diseases and not even know it.
"Part of the testing process for people with Alzheimer's dementia includes testing for syphilis and HIV," she said. "Unless you see that there might be a problem, you probably wouldn't look in that direction."
Doctors want to warn everyone if they are sexually active and sense something wrong---get tested!