Individual Factors that Affect HIV and Other STD Risk

These are things about you and your choices that make you safer or put you more at risk of acquiring an STD including HIV.

Choices that put you at a Reduced Infection Risk

Choices that put you at a Greater Infection Risk

  • Choosing to be sexually active only in a long term monogamous relationship
  • Being comprehensively screened for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV before having sex with a new partner
  • Always asking a new partner to undergo testing before starting to have sex
  • Always using male condoms, female condoms, dental dams, and other safer sex practices when having sex. This means using barriers even in long term monogamous relationships
  • Always carrying a condom, and carrying it properly, if sex may occur
  • Using drugs or alcohol before sex
  • Practicing serial monogamy
  • Inconsistent condom use or no condom use
  • Not using safer sex techniques for oral sex
  • Not being screened or tested regularly
  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Having an infection already
  • IV drug use
  • Crystal Meth use
  • Hooking up with anonymous partners you “met” online or in bars
(Made possible by Elizabeth Boskey, PhD Reviewed by Susan Olender, MD, updated May 21, 2018)

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