Divorce and the impotence drug Viagra are being blamed for a sharp rise in sexually-transmitted diseases among over-45s.

Cases of chlamydia are rising faster among the middle-aged than any other group, new figures revealed yesterday.

Experts say divorcees who are returning to the dating scene may not consider themselves at risk of infections and assume medical warnings about safe sex are aimed only at the young.

The growth of anti-impotence drugs such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis are also said to be increasing sexual activity.

It means that while cases of several infections are increasing among all age groups, they are rising particularly sharply among the over-45s.

Cases of chlamydia among the 45-64s have risen six per cent in a year, with 2,662 new diagnoses last year.

Over the last five years, the number of new cases has risen 50 per cent among those aged 45 and above.



And over the same period, cases of herpes diagnosed by GUM (genito-urinary medicine) clinics have risen 80 per cent to 2,093 while syphilis has gone up 40 per cent to 544.

The number of new diagnoses of genital warts among those aged 45 and over has shot up 33 per cent to 5,198.

Figures show that around two in five marriages end in divorce - the highest rate in Europe.

Dr Christian Jessen, the sexual health expert and TV doctor who is also director of the Better2Know clinics chain, said: 'STIs are most commonly associated with younger age groups, however these results show that it is the over 45s where STI incidence is increasing most significantly.



'Older people are continuing to be sexually active much later in life, both due to the medical treatments available and the reduced social stigma around having sex later in life.

'However, there seems to be a naivety about their risk of sexual infection, as they are no longer concerned about the risk of pregnancy and do not feel contraception is necessary.

'Further education and effective testing and treatment are vital across all age brackets.

'However, there seems to be a naivety about their risk of sexual infection, as they are no longer concerned about the risk of pregnancy and do not feel contraception is necessary.

'Further education and effective testing and treatment are vital across all age brackets.



Source: Social [DailyMail]