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Men on ED medication should seek STD testing, study finds

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

STD testing may benefit men who are taking prescription medications for erectile dysfunction (ED). A new study has found that men who take these medications are more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease.

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital stated that there is nothing about the drugs that makes men more vulnerable to infections, but those who take them are probably more likely to engage in risky sexual activity.

For the study, investigators examined the insurance claims of men from 44 large companies who were prescribed ED medication between 1997 and 2006. They found that individuals who filled prescriptions were 2 to 3 times more likely to report an infection than men who were not taking medication for ED.

Anupam Jena, who led the investigation, said that many patients believe they are no longer at risk for infection once they are beyond a certain age, but that men of any age who are sexually active could benefit from STD testing.

"Anyone who does not practice safer sex, no matter their age, can contract an STD," Jena said. "Even though STDs are quite rare among older men we found that STD rates in men who used ED drugs were higher, both before and after they filled their first prescription."

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