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Originally published October 30 2010

Men who take Viagra have 200 percent increased risk of sexually transmitted disease

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) The rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among men who take erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs is almost three times higher than that among men who do not take such drugs, according to a study conducted by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

"Primary care doctors don't usually talk to older men about safe sexual practices, and that's partly because rates of STDs are much lower in this group than in younger men," researcher Anupam B. Jena said. "But what our findings suggest is that just by virtue of asking for an ED drug, these men are identifying themselves as being at two to three times higher risk of STDs."

Researchers examined health insurance claims from a total of 1,410,806 men aged 41 or older at 44 different major employers. Among men who took ED drugs such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, the rate of STDs was significantly higher both before and after beginning treatment with the drugs. This suggests that men at high risk of STDs -- in other words, those engaging in behavior such as unprotected, promiscuous sex -- are more likely to seek out ED drugs.

"This study confirms what we've suspected for a while, which is that the men who are using these drugs aren't just those who have erectile dysfunction, but they're also men in high risk groups who take it to enhance sexual activity," said Peter Leone, of the National Coalition of STD Directors. "Doctors need to realize that unless these patients are always using condoms or are in mutually monogamous relationships, they need routine STD screening with repeated follow-ups."

The study authors agreed that improved safe sex education is needed for older adults.

"We are typically unaccustomed to practice safe sex over the age of 50, because the risk of pregnancy is eliminated," Jena said.

Approximately 15 percent of new HIV/AIDS cases are diagnosed in people over the age of 50.

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