Large numbers of separated and divorced men and women are putting their
sexual health at risk by sleeping with multiple partners and contracting
sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as a result, a leading
consultant warned yesterday.
Dr Jack Lambert, of the Mater Hospital, said people in their 30s, 40s and 50s “are going out and acting as if they are 18 or 25 years old again”, The Irish Independent reports.
Dr Lambert also pointed out that clinics treating sexually transmitted diseases are seeing more adolescents.
He added that there was a "shocking number" of young women who are being routinely screened in the Rotunda Maternity Hospital in Dublin for chlamydia as part of their ante-natal care and are testing positive.
Many men could also have chlamydia and be unaware of it because they have no symptoms, Dr Lambert pointed out.
More than 6,000 men and women last year were diagnosed with chlamydia -- a silent infection with no symptoms that can remain undetected, and if untreated can lead to men and women becoming sterile, while women can develop chronic lower abdominal pain and are at greater risk of ectoptic pregnacies.
Dr Lambert was speaking after the a number of specialists launched a new policy paper as part of Sexual Health Awareness Week.
Among other things, the policy paper, Better Sexual Health for Ireland Policy Statement, says that low parental monitoring had been found to be associated with early sexual activity and more sexual partners.
The paper’s main recommendations are as follows:
The need for parents and educators continue to receive appropriate support and resources for the implementation of home and schoolbased sexual health programmes.
The need for targeted education programmes for groups known to be at-risk of poor sexual health such as people who have sex before the age of 17, young adults, women aged between 35 and 55, men who have sex with men (MSMs), and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds
The need for greater public access to appropriate, accessible information to promote good sexual health.