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More And More Seniors Are Putting The S In STD

LOS ANGELES ( — Officials say one age group has shown an alarming rise in sexually transmitted diseases.

Not young people.  Not college students.  It's senior citizens.

At an age when many people are concerned about retirement, an increasing group of folks are concerned about contracting disease.

CBS2/KCAL9's Bobby Kaple reported about this alarming new trend.

Study after study is showing seniors are having sex and lots of it.

Orlando Estrada, 78, re-married two years ago. "One lady, her husband passed away, now she has four boyfriends."

Kaple did not have trouble finding seniors at the St. Barnabas Senior Center unwilling to talk about older people getting increasingly frisky.

One resident recently lost her husband and now she has four boyfriends. Estrada says he was going to ask her out for a date.

"All of a sudden, it comes out -- 'Do you want to be my girlfriend?' And she laughs, 'I'll think about it.'"

Dr. Steven Rabin, a Burbank gynecologist, says "Eighty percent of people 50 years and older are sexually active still."

And with all that sex, he says seniors are contracting STDs at an alarming rate. "What's dramatic in that in the age group 50 and above we are seeing a doubling and tripling of STDs such as chlamydia and syphilis and that's startling."

So why the outbreak? Doctors say there are several factors.

For one, medical advances have enabled men to have sex at an older age.

Paul Dell'Anno, 90, credits Viagra. "That has helped immensely," he said

Other factors? People are also living longer, the divorce rate continues to rise and there is more cross-generational dating.

Couple these with the surging popular of active adult communities and the picture becomes even clearer.

Dr. Rabin says, "There's a famous story about this village in Florida, where all of a sudden they had a big cluster of syphilis and it was found to come from all these frisky seniors."

Douglas Lewis, 86, is single. "There are always parties and activities and traveling so there is a lot of hooking up going on."

Dr. Rabin also believes the fact seniors don't worry about pregnancy, many of them don't know to use protection.

Amelia Lee, 66, got re-married two years ago. "There is no need for us to talk about protection unless someone has contracted a disease."

Kaple asks Dell'Anno if he had sex education when he was in high school. And the 90-year-old replies, "Not really that I can remember."

So what can be done about the growing problem of seniors and STDs.

It might be time to have "The Talk" with your parents, according to Dr. Rabin.

69-year-old widow Grace Morales told Kaple that one day her daughter came home and "she brought me all these Alka Seltzers. And she says, 'Come on! Those aren't Alka Seltzers! They're condoms!''"

Dr. Rabin believes it is important for all doctors to not assume their patients are no longer having sex -- no matter how old they are.

Dell'Anno says he's still actively dating at 90. "Sex never dies. And as far as I'm concerned, it could go on until you are 120-130 if you take care of yourself."

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