Unprotected sex or sharing a hypodermic needle with someone who is HIV-positive are very risky, but the nature of the behavior and who you’re doing it with can make a difference.
Unprotected vaginal and anal intercourse put you at the highest risk for HIV. During vaginal sex, infected men are much more likely to spread HIV to the woman than an infected women is to spread HIV to a man. Likewise, your risk of contracting HIV is 10 times higher if you’re on the receiving end of anal intercourse. And the odds change based on your partner:
- Gay men account for 50% of all new HIV cases in the US each year and 48% of all people currently infected
- Having an infected heterosexual partner puts you at a high risk, and this group accounts for 28% of those infected in the US
- Injection drug abusers who swap needles represent 19% of those carrying HIV and 12% of annual new infections
Currently, there are about 1 million people infected with HIV in the US and one in five infected people don’t know they carry the virus. Statistics suggest that someone is infected every 9.5 minutes. It can take only one exposure to an infected person or needle to contract HIV, so practice safe sex and make use of clean needle resources.
Learn more about HIV risk in the below video: