Are older people at risk of sexually transmitted infections? A new look at the evidence
Two policy documents were published by the UK Department of Health in 2001 which established the service development agendas for their respective areas over the coming years. The National Service Framework (NSF) for Older People sets out national standards for ‘better, fairer and more integrated health and social care services for older people’ and ‘addresses conditions significant to older ages’ to promote ‘active and healthy aging’. The National Sexual Health Strategy identifies ways to ensure that that the sexual health of the UK population is maximized, predicated on the grounds that ‘our sexual health affects our physical and psychological well-being and is central to some of the most important and lasting relationships in our lives’. What is striking, if perhaps ultimately unsurprising, is that there is no overlap between the documents. The NSF for Older People makes no reference to sexuality or sexual health issues, and the National Sexual Health Strategy makes no reference to older people and, indeed, explicitly focuses on younger people, particularly through linking the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) with the reduction in teenage pregnancies.
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