The Story Behind The Villages Florida STD Scandal

The Story Behind The Villages Florida STD Scandal

It may be older news, but the story behind The Villages Florida STD scandal still continues. With all the publicity it received, how much of it is actually true?

Back in 2006, two Orlando news stations released reports describing an increase in the number of STDs diagnosed at a retirement community known as The Villages. Then, in 2009, the New York Post published an article titled “Retire to the Bedroom,” and that was when even more readers learned more about The Villages, which is the biggest gated retirement community for seniors in the United States. Once again, the focus of the article was on the fact that The Villages had become known as the senior community with one of the highest STD rates amongst its residents.

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Unfortunately, the The Villages Florida STD scandal continues to be a topic of conversation for those who are interested in retiring there, as well as their family members. But is this negative publicity for the facility actually true?

Getting Down to Numbers

It turns out that some of the stories about the high STD rate in The Villages were likely exaggerated. When you view the rates for STD totals in the three Florida counties in which The Villages is found, you could see that they are actually a small percentage of the total number of STDs in the entire state. So it appears as though the media took advantage of a situation to share a news story that would quickly gain traction and get people talking.

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On top of that, you need to consider just how large the complex at The Villages actually is. Spanning a whopping 20,000 acres, The Villages houses an impressive number of people, with more than 80,000 seniors calling it home. So when you think about it, it really should come as no surprise that there are residents who are interested in things like alcohol and sex. Plus, when you compare other communities of similar size throughout the country, you might even find that the number of STDs is similar too.

What Residents Have to Say

Despite the negative reputation that The Villages has garnered as a result of this STD scandal, the majority of the seniors who reside there are not really affected by the issue of sexually transmitted diseases. Many residents are in monogamous relationships, or they are married and committed to their spouses. Others might be dating, but they use protection during sex. Of course, there are those who have been diagnosed with an STD, as the statistics clearly show, but it isn’t as bad as media outlets would have led you to believe.

Seniors Just Want to Have Fun

When people think of retirement communities, they may not want to think about seniors dating and having sex, or even drinking alcohol to let loose and enjoy themselves. But the reality is that active seniors do all of these things, and The Villages isn’t the only place where they are doing it.

Ultimately, if The Villages seems like the retirement community that you or a senior family member would like to live in, don’t let the infamous The Villages Florida STD scandal sway your decision. Dig a little deeper into the actual stats, and consider the benefits and drawbacks of The Villages just as you would consider them for any other retirement community.

Photo credit: Peter Titmuss/

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