Venereal disease among the elderly population is rising, the Ministry of Health and Welfare revealed Monday.
According to the National Health Insurance Corporation, a ministry affiliate, the number of people treated for various venereal diseases marked 352,000 in 2010, up 19,000 from four years ago.
Women outnumbered men: Female patients marked 249,000 compared to 102,000 men. The rate of increase among women over 65 years old marked 14.6 percent, 4.9 percentage points higher than elderly males’ 9.7 percent. They were mostly treated for herpes and giardiasis, making up over 79.8 percent of cases.
“Women are more susceptible to such diseases because of their body structure and weaker immune system. Their period of incubation is longer and they infectivity is stronger than their male counterpart,” Dr. Lee Seok-young of Ilsan Hospital said.
“Since more of the elderly population are enjoying their sex lives, the chances of their contracting such diseases are also high,” he added.