Who is at Risk for HIV?

You are at risk for HIV if you have unprotected vaginal, anal or oral intercourse or share needles with a partner who is positive for HIV. You cannot tell whether a person is positive for HIV by looking at them. The only way to know for sure that you are not positive for HIV is to get tested at your doctor's office, local health department, or other HIV testing facility. According to the CDC, certain populations are at an increasingly greater risk for HIV transmission:


CDC now recommends that everybody should be tested at least once per year. CDC also recommends that those people who are at high-risk of becoming infected with HIV should test more frequently. You can talk with your doctor or an HIV counselor about how frequently you should be tested for HIV.

Risk Factors

You might be at higher risk for getting HIV if:
  • You are having unprotected sex with a partner of unknown HIV status
  • You or your partner has had more than one partner in the last 12 months
  • You are a man who has sex with men
  • Your partner is HIV positive
  • You share needles during IV drug use
  • You share needles or ink during tattooing
  • You are a healthcare worker who works with blood or blood products
  • You exchange sex for drugs or money
  • You had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1985
  • Your partner has participated in any of the above behaviors