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Tan HH, Wong ML, Chan RKW
Correspondence: Dr Tan Hiok Hee, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction This study was conducted to determine the disease patterns of sexually transmitted infections (STI) in older men, as well as to gather information on their knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and sexual practices.
Methods A prospective study was carried out from January to June 2005 in men aged 50 years or older who attended the Department of STI Control clinic.
Results There were 104 men enrolled. The majority (92.3 percent) were Chinese, and 62.5 percent were aged between 50 and 59 years, 25.9 percent between 60 and 69 years, and 11.5 percent aged 70 years or older. The patients were predominantly heterosexual, and had fairly low levels of education--85.6 percent of the patients had received primary or secondary school level of education. Majority (79.8 percent) of the men had been sexually active in the preceding six months, and 37.3 percent had paid sex during that time. 29.8 percent of men reported having taken drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra, Pfizer, New York, NY, USA) or similar drugs such as vardenafil (Levitra, Bayer, Wuppertal, Germany) or tadalafil (Cialis, Eli Lilly, Indianapolis, IN, USA). 56.7 percent of the men had active infections, with non-gonococcal urethritis (15.4 percent), genital warts (12.5 percent) and gonorrhoea (10.6 percent) being the commonest. Generally, condom usage was accepted as an effective way to prevent transmission of STI. However, many of the men surveyed felt that condom usage reduced their sexual pleasure, and 38.5 percent felt that condoms were inconvenient. There were also areas of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) knowledge that were lacking. Most patients listed the media as their main source of knowledge about STI and HIV.
Conclusion Older males attending the clinic remain at significant risk of STI and targeted educational efforts are warranted.
Keywords: condom, epidemiology, genital warts, gonorrhoea, non-gonococcal urethritis, sexually transmitted diseases
Singapore Med J 2006; 47(10): 886-891