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Men taking Erectile Dysfunction Drugs at Higher Risk for STDs

A recent study shows men taking medications for erectile dysfunction are two to three times more likely to get a sexually transmitted disease than those not taking the medication.  Since medications like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra were discovered millions of men have taken the drugs to improve their sex lives.  However, this new study shows men aren’t being as careful as they should when it comes to sex.

The numbers
A team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at insurance records of 1.4 million patients.  While studying the records the team realized the increased number of men diagnosed with STDs and believe they should be the target of a safe sex campaign.

“Anyone who does not practice safer sex, no matter their age, can contract an STD,” says study author Anupam B. Jena, MD, PhD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital department of medicine. “Even though STDs are quite rare among older men — on the order of 1 per 1,000 individuals — we found that STD rates in men who used ED drugs were two to three times higher, both before and after they filled their first prescription.”

Word of wisdom
The conclusion the researchers found isn’t illogical.  If men are having more sex, then they are more likely to get a sexually transmitted disease. The worry is that too many men are taking sex a little too far, becoming a Charlie Harper-like character in real life.  This womanizing actor, once played by Charlie Sheen on the hit sitcom Two and a Half Men, was known for jumping into bed with every woman he met.  Doctors say medications like Viagra can improve a sex life, but that new found freedom shouldn’t replace common sense.

In other words, remember your seventh grade health lessons and practice safe sex.

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