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More elderly women infected with STDs in Korea

The number of elderly South Korean women who have been infected with sexually transmitted diseases increased significantly from 2010-2014, a report showed Tuesday.

The report, published by private think tank Pharmscore, analyzed government data on STD patients who sought help at medical institutions over the last five years. According to the findings, the number of women aged 80 or older who were treated for an STD increased by an average of 21.6 percent yearly from 2010 to 2014, from 662 to 1,447. 

Meanwhile, the number of Korean male STD patients aged 80 or older increased only by an average of 8.8 percent yearly in the same period, from 408 to 572. 
Elderly patients receive their treatment at a medical institution. (Yonhap)
Elderly patients receive their treatment at a medical institution. (Yonhap)

Last year, a total of 393,025 Koreans in all age groups were treated for STDs. The number of patients increased by 5.5 percent from the year before. Among the patients, 73.9 percent were women. The largest number of patients were in their 30s, followed by those in their 20s and 40s.

Researcher Choi Seong-gyu from Pharmscore said more elderly Koreans are becoming sexually active partly because of higher life expectancy and accessible medication that treats erectile dysfunction.

“But it seems that not many of them are aware of how to protect themselves and their partners against STDs,” he said. “Women aged 80 or older also have a weak immune system (and therefore are more vulnerable to the diseases).”

By Claire Lee (dyc@heraldcorp.com



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