My (ex) husband and I, after a point, were what is called “fluid-bonded” and we quit using condoms. Well, I thought we were fluid-bonded; now I have reason to suspect he was not loyal to that.
In any event, it’s been seven months now since I last had “unprotected” sex, so any “critters” which I may have acquired from him during our marriage will have incubated enough to show up in the lab tests. I’m sure I’ll be getting back to you with results, which I do hope are boring as hell.
But in the course of telling my doctor about my recent divorce, and so on, she revealed that women of my demographic (“older” and recently single) are at especial risk for contracting HIV (etc.).
Apparently there are two key factors.
One, is what I will call–without judgment–”clueless”. Women who have been out of circulation for so long as to be unaware of basic safer sex practices, and that such are needed–even if you’ve aged past the point of pregnancy concerns.
Two, is more physiological, and something I had never heard. It’s actually very interesting to me, and makes perfect sense. Here’s a scientific blurb about it:
Menopausal women are at an increased risk of being exposed to STIs as the vulva and vaginal mucosa are thinning. The menopausal woman may experience less vaginal lubrication, which can cause the tissue to become fragile. Fragility of the mucosa allows for easier transmission of viruses and bacteria to invade the tissues and cause an infection.
No one talks about this stuff. Not on the “street” anyway.
Photo: Old woman by Giorgio Grande and used with Creative Commons license