NEGLECT OF ELDERLY SEXUALITY - A RISK FACTOR FOR HIV AND OTHER SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS IN KENYA AND BEYOND: A REVIEW
Keywords:Elderly, sexuality, HIV, sexually transmitted infections, Kenya
Currently, there is a global trend in increased longevity in Kenya and beyond compared to any other period in history. This has culminated in continued social life including sexual activity with ageing. However, there is little information in the scientific literature concerning HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that is specific to those aged 50 years and above. People in this age-group are often excluded from studies as researchers and policy makers focus on young people. Consequently, assumptions are made on the epidemiology as well as sexual behavior of those aged 50 years and above. The exclusion of older people from national programs is on the assumption that older people are sexually inactive, resulting in their omission from major STI policy initiatives despite the physiological changes that occur with age. Thus, policy makers and stakeholders need to address socio-demographic factors that are associated with the prevalence of HIV and STIs in the elderly and to promote further research on this subject in this segment of the population for evidence-based decision making for improved health in the population.