Am I at risk?
Some behavior is more risky than others. It is important to recognize that risk factors are not the direct cause of disease. HIV affects people at every point on the risk spectrum and many people who are most “at risk” for HIV infection never become infected. Understanding HIV risk factors can help you better evaluate your own risk.
Some of the most common behavioral risk factors include:
Having unprotected anal or vaginal sex with an HIV-infected person or with a person whose HIV status is unknown
Having multiple sexual partners
Having sex with sex workers
Having sex with IV drug users
Sharing syringes or needles
Using nonsterile needles for piercing or tattooing
Having vaginal or anal sex with a condom
Other factors that may put one at risk for HIV infection include
Another sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, or hepatitis
Having been the victim of sexual assault
Having sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Having a mother who had HIV when you were born
For more information about the risks associated with specific sexual behaviors