HIV Exposure: Know Your Risk

Did you know that there are certain behaviors that can put you more at risk of getting HIV? And did you that many of these behaviors are easily controlled by you? The first step in protecting yourself and preventing exposure to HIV is knowledge. Learn about HIV exposure and risk behaviors to know and reduce your risk.

The risk of getting of HIV is not one size fits all. Depending on the method of exposure to HIV and the risk behavior that is involved, the risk will vary. For example, there are certain types of HIV exposure that carry a higher risk of transmission than some other kinds of risks. Likewise, there are other types of exposures that carry such a small risk that it’s hard to quantify. While that can be a little confusing to take in consider this: Even small risks add up over time. Even if a behavior carries a small risk of HIV transmission, engaging in that behavior frequently will inevitably increase your risk. And engaging in risk behavior with an infected partner repeatedly, the likelihood of getting HIV is much higher.

Some of the main risk behaviors of getting exposed to HIV include sharing needles, having unprotected intercourse, engaging in sexual activities with an infected partner, and having multiple sexual partners. As far as exposure there are many types with the most common being blood transfusion, needle sticks, and receptive and insertive intercourse. When you evaluate your risk behaviors alongside the type of exposure, this is how you determine your risk of getting exposed and infected with HIV.

According to CDC exposure from a blood transfusion carries the highest risk. Fortunately there are measures in place to prevent that from occurring. Next to that, another exposure that carries a significant risk is receptive anal intercourse. And behind that, needle sharing during injection.

For more information on HIV risk behaviors and exposure visit CDC.gov.

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Tyshia Ingram

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