By Michelle Sobel, STD Test Express

As we grow older, there are more and more health concerns we must deal with on a daily basis. But just as you watch what you eat, exercise and test your cholesterol or blood pressure, don’t forget to practice safe sexual habits as well.

That means continuing to use protection and getting regular checks for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In fact, you middle-aged to older men and women could, perhaps, be the generation most susceptible to an STD.

While much of the educational STD campaigns are focused on teaching younger generations about using protection and getting tested, studies have shown that people in their 30s, 40s and even 50s need to listen up too. 

Did you know that according to the Center for Disease Control, the highest number of newly acquired cases of HIV/AIDS is actually found in middle aged adults, aged 35-44?

And guess what generation is next? Yup, ages 45-54. That means you, Baby Boomers. So what gives?

Well, maybe the younger generations are just doing a better job of protecting themselves. In fact, a May 2008 study by the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene showed that among single people with at least two sexual partners, just 56% of people over age 45 reported using condoms the last time they had sex. That number jumps to 61% for those between 25 and 44 and all the way up to 80% for those 18-to-24-years-olds.

We may be older, we may be wiser, but it’s our generation taking the most risk when having unprotected sex. While bringing up condoms or STD testing might seem embarrassing for an older man or woman, it’s absolutely essential.

Just like eating right and exercising, making smart choices with sex is essential to living longer and healthier.

Use protection. Get screened on a regular basis. Talk to your partner about doing the same.

STDs don’t discriminate based on age and it’s about time every generation takes notice.

Michelle Sobel is co-founder of — — and sexual health blogger on Unzipped.

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