At-Home STD Testing: How Dating Online is Causing Issues for Mature Adults

If you are over 50 and active in the dating scene, you might find this article interesting.

While researching sites for my mom about dating, I stumbled upon these facts about at-home STD testing kits for adults and the stigma behind getting an infection and getting treatment for it.

This information made me call my mother – single and ready to mingle, and not yet 60, she’s a beautiful, vibrant woman. I’m her oldest, and we’ve struck a new level in our relationship that includes sharing some details about her dating life, which led me to share this with her.

Like some of her girlfriends, my mom is trying to find love, she’s mentioned signing up for Silver Singles with no luck, and even Christian Mingle, but lately has been finding potential guys on Match.com. 

As a culture, we reserve our thoughts of romance and sexual relationships for the youth, but in reality, the desires don’t simply go away as we get older; they evolve, and as the world embraces the digital era, dating has followed this lead.

15% of baby boomers believe that dating sites are the best places to meet someone to date. 57% are comfortable using dating sites, According to Pew Research, 85% of boomers use the internet, and 11% of those primarily use their phone for access.

50% of the U.S. population will get an STD in their lifetime. However, less than half of U.S. adults have never completed a comprehensive STD screen other than HIV, which leaves more common infections undetected and at epidemic rising infection rates.

This study was fascinating because it answered some questions about other age groups’ sex lives and mentioned that adults over the age of 40 have the lowest rates of condom use. Condom use is higher among black and Hispanic Americans than white Americans and other age groups, which has caused a spike in STDs among older adults. However, since the mature age group isn’t worried about pregnancy, they have a similar attitude about sexual relationships. Like the 20-year-old age group, they lack proper education about STD risks and prevention. 

About 3 million Americans have hepatitis C, contracted from infected blood, leading to liver cancer. Baby Boomers (born from 1945-1965) are five times more likely to have hepatitis C, and most don’t know they have it and aren’t currently getting the necessary medical care. So the CDC is recommending that ALL baby boomers screen for Hep C.  

Keep in mind that Hep C symptoms in females may be faint and is sometimes referred to as a “silent” infection until the virus damages your liver enough to cause symptoms of liver disease, which includes: 

  • Bleeding easily
  • Bruising easily
  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Jaundice in the skin and eyes
  • dark-colored urine
  • Itchy skin
  • Fluid buildup in your abdomen
  • Swelling in your legs
  • Weight loss
  • Confusion, drowsiness, and slurred speech
  • Spiderlike blood vessels on your skin

Culturally, since the baby boomers came of age, sex has undergone many transformations, both pharmaceutically and technologically. 

According to the CDC, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis cases have increased every year since 2016, with last year being the highest ever. In the 65 years and older group, syphilis saw roughly a 60% increase between 2014 and 2018, and gonorrhea has more than doubled. 

They recommend expedited partner therapy (EPT) to prevent your partner from reinfecting you after treatment, which is the medical practice of providing medicine and instruction for treatment of STDs if your partner lacks access to timely help by themselves. 

Where To Get An At-Home STD Test?

myLab Box is the first and only nationwide at-home testing and treatment service. They have comprehensive STD panels with 14 tests, Hepatitis C, cervical cancer screening, women’s health, and more. All the kits come with confidential doctor consultation and counseling if you get positive results. 

California became the first state to require health insurance plans to cover at-home tests for sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, chlamydia, and syphilis. They say it has raged nearly unchecked since the public health departments have focused on Covid 19. 

The rule is part of a broader law addressing the STI epidemic, taking effect this January 1 for people with state-regulated private insurance and will start later this year for millions of low-income Californians enrolled in the State’s Medicaid program. 

This make’s it easier and cheaper to self-administer tests in the privacy of your own home. With this being the first of its kind, the state’s program – Medi-Cal, isn’t ready yet.

If you’re a Florida resident, you can visit one of the confidential STD field offices for free regardless of your citizenship status or age. They provide STD assessment and testing, including HIV testing. If you have an STD, you’ll recieve treatment during the visit and be given a prescription to purchase medicine for treatment. You’ll probably have to speak to some counselors about reducing sexual risk and STDs, but it is worth it if you suspect you have an infection. 

You can also search for a testing center here.

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