This paper reviews the evidence concerning the epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) with a particular focus on older people. Evidence from North America, Australia, China and Korea clearly shows increasing rates of many STIs in the population group aged 50 years and older. Similar changes are identified in three studies conducted in sub-Saharan Africa. There is a significant lack of detailed epidemiological data from Asia-Pacific and many African countries. There is also a lack of health education and health programmes directed towards older people. It is likely that sexual ageism is the dynamic that underpins this lack of focus and resources for older people.