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Many older adults don't think they are at risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. This is not true! Almost anybody who is sexually active is at risk of getting an STI or HIV, including older adults. And it's much easier for a woman to get an STI (including HIV). Take steps to protect yourself.
If you are sexually active, you should know your HIV status. You should also know your partner's status. You both need to be tested. You may be embarrassed to talk to your doctor about HIV or ask to be tested. Don't be — many sexually active people have their doctors test them. You can also be tested without anyone knowing at a public clinic run by your city or state. If you want to test yourself at home, beware that only one home test has been approved by the FDA: Home Access Express HIV-1 Test System. You can buy other HIV home test kits online, but they are not approved by the FDA and may give wrong results.
You can lower your risk of STIs, including HIV, with these simple steps:
Have a yearly pelvic exam and ask your doctor if you need to be tested for STIs. The sooner an STI is found, the easier it is to treat.
Content last updated August 12, 2010.
Resources last updated August 12, 2010.