When HIV/AIDS first surfaced in the United States, it mainly affected men who had sex with men. However, now it's clear that HIV is also spread through heterosexual sex.

Anyone of any age, race, sex or sexual orientation can be infected, but you're at greatest risk of HIV/AIDS if you:

  • Have unprotected sex. Unprotected sex means having sex without using a new latex or polyurethane condom every time. Anal sex is more risky than is vaginal sex. The risk increases if you have multiple sexual partners.
  • Have another STI. Many sexually transmitted infections (STIs) produce open sores on your genitals. These sores act as doorways for HIV to enter your body.
  • Use intravenous drugs. People who use intravenous drugs often share needles and syringes. This exposes them to droplets of other people's blood.
  • Are an uncircumcised man. Studies indicate that lack of circumcision increases the risk of heterosexual transmission of HIV.
May. 20, 2014

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