Behavioral Risks for HIV

Behavioral Risks of HIV

Anyone can be at risk for HIV regardless of gender identity, anatomy, sexual orientation, age, or race. Certain behaviors can make that risk higher.
In order to contract HIV, the virus needs to get from one person’s body to another. If someone is HIV-positive and their body fluids (blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk) find a way to enter your bloodstream, there is a chance you will become infected.
If you’re sexually active or injecting recreational drugs, you are at risk for HIV because both activities can create a pathway for this to happen.

Do you participate in one or more of the following behaviors?

  • Condomless sex
  • Sex with multiple partners
  • Receptive anal and/or vaginal sex
  • Using injection drugs (using needles)
  • Sharing needles or injection drug equipment (including: syringes, cookers, cottons, and cleaning solutions)


Finding ways to make these activities safer is key to protecting yourself.

  • Condoms can prevent someone’s body fluids from entering your body
  • Lube can help to prevent tearing inside the anus or vagina
  • Using a new needle each time you inject ensures no one else’s fluids have contaminated it
  • Remember that other drug injection equipment can also become contaminated with someone’s body fluids
  • Adopting these safer practices in addition to PrEP can provide excellent protection from HIV


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