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Florida: Seniors Learn Ins and Outs of Safe Sex

February 11, 2009

On Tuesday, the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Northeast Dade hosted a seminar about safe sex, where attendees learned about the STD risks and realities of unprotected sex among seniors. In 2005, 15 percent of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses were among people age 50 and older, according to CDC.

Warming up the audience was Ron Magill, Miami Metrozoo ambassador, who presented candid photos of various animals procreating, which elicited laughter. "We're from the old school, you never talk about sex. It's taboo," said Hy Posner, 85, of North Miami Beach. "It's more wide open now, it's good."

Miami psychiatrist Dr. Marc Agronin spoke with the group about sexuality and aging. The group also watched a 12-minute Claymation video produced by other JCC members, which featured "Morty" and "Ethel," two senior characters made of clay who find romance and then consider having sex. Neither, however, has thought about the need for condoms.

"I just read an article about infectious diseases, STDs and all that stuff," Ethel tells her friend over the phone. "I read that the number of seniors with STDs is increasing."

"People were unaware you can get a disease at this stage in life," said Julie Chesley, 83, a video co-producer. She and others in the group wrote the script, built sets, and sculpted the clay characters, who talk frankly about using condoms, how soon to have sex when dating, and getting screened for STDs. "If talking about AIDS helps one person, then our movie was a success," Chesley said.

Back to other news for February 2009

Adapted from:
Miami Herald
02.11.2009; Rebecca Dellagloria

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on HIV Prevention Issues for Older People


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