UNPROTECTED sex is rife among older people, with research showing 40 per cent of men over 40 who have casual sex never use condoms.

Results of a national survey on men's health show that safe sex practices are being ignored by older men, who are putting themselves and their partners at risk of sexually transmitted infections. Almost one third of about 6000 older men interviewed had never used a condom, according to data to be presented at a public health conference in Alice Springs today.

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And while only 9 percent of men in this age group were having casual sex, 40 percent of them admitted they did not use a condom. This is considerably higher than rates among younger men. Older men who lived in remote areas and those who had a lower level of education were less likely to have protected casual sex.

Carol Holden, chief executive of Melbourne-based Andrology Australia, will present findings from the Men in Australia Telephone Survey (MATeS), the first national study on men's health.