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:
July 21, 2015
- 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.
- Longo DL, et al., eds. Human immunodeficiency virus disease. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed June 3, 2015.
- What is HIV? AIDS.gov. http://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/. Accessed June 3, 2015.
- Sax PE. Acute and early HIV infection: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 3, 2015.
- Bartlett JG. The natural history and clinical history of HIV infection in adults and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 3, 2015.
- Ferri FF. Human immunodeficiency virus. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 3, 2015.
- HIV/AIDS. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/hivaids/understanding/Pages/Default.aspx. Accessed June 3, 2015.
- Guidelines for prevention and treatment of opportunistic infections in HIV-infected adults and adolescents. National Institutes of Health. https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/guidelines/html/4/adult-and-adolescent-oi-prevention-and-treatment-guidelines/0. Accessed June 5, 2015.
- Pollack TM, et al. Primary care of HIV-infected adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 3, 2015.
- Natural medicines in the clinical management of HIV/AIDS. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed June 3, 2015.
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). AIDS.gov. https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/prevention/reduce-your-risk/pre-exposure-prophylaxis/index.html. Accessed June 3, 2015.
- Lower your sexual risk of HIV. AIDS.gov. https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/prevention/reduce-your-risk/sexual-risk-factors/. Accessed June 3, 2015.