Science & Tech

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are on the rise in pensioners because of Tinder

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are on the rise in pensioners because of Tinder
Younger adults get life advice from elderly people in 'advice booth'

We appreciate you won’t want to think about your parents, grandparents or elderly neighbours having sex but, we have to break it to you, it’s happening.

In fact, the over-65s are at it so much that they’re driving a spike in demand for sexual health services.

A new report has revealed that sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the increase among Britain’s pensioners, with the study’s authors linking this surge to the rise in online dating.

The researchers believe that the likes of Tinder and Bumble are helping older Brits find new partners (or hook-ups), and that many fail to use condoms because of the low risk of pregnancy – which means they’re at greater risk of contracting an STI.

Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Official figures published in the Local Government Association (LGA) report show that new STI diagnoses rose from 2,280 in 2017 to 2,748 in 2019 among the over-65s.

The LGA also found that “the largest proportional increase in gonorrhoea and chlamydia” was seen in among the age group in the period leading up to the Covid pandemic.

“The ease at which certain parts of our population can access dating sites is greater than ever,” the association said.

And, although they acknowledged that “digital innovations provide a raft of potential for improving sexual health service access,” they also warned: “The high use [of] smartphones and dating apps comes at a cost.”

The LGA said sexual health services, which are run by local councils, have reached “breaking point” and yet they are now facing fresh funding cuts.

The public health grant used to fund sexual health services was slashed by over £1 billion between 2015/16 and 2020/21.

David Fothergill, chairman of the LGA community wellbeing board, said: “Councils are facing a perfect storm of increased demand for services whilst, at the same time, [suffering] continued cuts to their funding. This is unsustainable and risks a reversal in the encouraging fall in some STIs and potential increases in unwanted pregnancies.

“Cuts to spending on sexual health, as with other areas of public health expenditure, are a false economy . . . The government must ensure sexual and reproductive health funding is increased to levels which do not jeopardise people’s health . . . There can be no sustainable, long-term solution to NHS pressures unless we have an equally sustainable solution for public health.”

In the meantime, make sure Grandad keeps a johnny in his wallet.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)