Older people are putting themselves at risk by spurning advice on sexual health, according to a Channel 4 News survey, which shows many do not think it is important at their age.

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Half of Britons aged 60 and over say sex is important to them, according to the survey carried out for Channel 4 News. ComRes spoke to more than 500 of them across Britain - and found out that as well as their enthusiasm for an active sex life, older people do not think it is important to seek sexual health advice.

As you might expect, sex figures more prominently for men: twice as many men as women say it is important for them. But it is not neccessarily translating into action.

More than two out of five over 60s say they have not had sex for more than a year. Just 4 per cent report a highly active sex life, more than twice a week - although a significant minority report they are making love fairly often, between twice a week and a few times a month.

The biggest problem, however, appears to be sexual health. This is, after all, the generation of the 1960s, who found the promise of free love well before any scares about Aids or other sexually transmitted diseases triggered massive public health campaigns.

This was a generation which discovered the pill - obviating the need, they thought, for condoms as a means of birth control.

As a result, says our survey, they simply don't think seeking sexual advice is relevant "at their age". Around a quarter of them don't think it's neccessary to use condoms after women have reached menopause - although the safe sex message is getting through to most. Seven in ten think it's just as important for a 65 year old to use a condom, as someone aged 25.

In practice, however, things are less clear cut. More than half of the people surveyed said they would be less likely to actually use a condom now they are older. And most would not consider using one at all with a long-term partner.

All of this, despite warnings that older people could be more at risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease because of their age and general state of health.

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