Evangelist Franklin Graham voiced his outrage on April 12 over senior citizens contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
Graham linked a USA Today article to his Facebook page, and included his disapproval about sex between consenting adults:
Old enough to know better? Apparently not. USA TODAY is talking about the dramatic increase in sexually transmitted diseases among senior citizens in the United States. The CDC says gonorrhea cases increased by more than 90% in adults 65 and older between 2010 and 2014.
That’s incredible. Syphilis and chlamydia cases also grew by more than 50%, and the upward trend continued in 2015. Sin has consequences -- and there’s no age limit on that. This is even happening at assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is defined by God as sin, no matter the person’s age.
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The Bible tells us, “Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:15)
"People look at disability and age as a problem," sexuality educator Melanie Davis told USA Today. "We don’t have to frame it as this horrible thing."
Davis added that it's a myth that people lose sexual interest with age: "[T]hey will likely have satisfying sex later in life."
However, elderly people may still face social stigmas (shame, judgment) that can further endanger their health when it comes to HIV.
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The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) noted that stigmas may prevent elderly Americans from trying to get health care and revealing their HIV status.
The CDC said that elderly Americans are more likely than younger citizens to get an HIV diagnosis later in the progression of the infection, which means the seniors start treatment later and may suffer more damage to their immune systems.
Amazingly, health care providers don't always test older people, and the seniors themselves may not think they are at risk for HIV or may mistake HIV symptoms for health problems associated with aging.
Senior citizens may be less aware of HIV than young people, and may be less likely to use protection.
Older people with HIV may also be at an increased risk for thin bones, some types of cancers and cardiovascular disease.
The CDC advises on its website: "Older HIV patients and their care providers need to maximize prevention efforts against these conditions and remain vigilant for early signs of illness.
They also need to be careful about interactions between the medications used to treat HIV and those used to treat common age-related conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, and obesity."