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6 Ways You Can Get HIV

6 Ways You Can Get HIV


If you think that HIV happens to other people, you may want to think again.

People make assumptions about the kind of people who get HIV. Some think that it is only an issue for people who are promiscuous, poor, a minority, or gay. With the false safety of these beliefs, people make mistakes that could result in a rude awakening. More than half of young people who are living with HIV are unaware of their status, and HIV infections are on the rise. So don't be naive about the kinds of people who can get HIV, because no one is immune to infection and almost everyone has had an experience that could have been life changing.

Here are six common ways that you can become infected with HIV.

Didntknow514687659x633_0You thought he was monogamous

Surprisingly, this is one of the most common ways that people report becoming HIV-positive. When you enter into a monogamous relationship, you shouldn't have to question your partner's fidelity or be forced to wear condoms on your wedding night. But that doesn't mean you should turn a blind eye to the possibility of your partner sleeping with another person. So keep the communication open and the topic of HIV on both of your minds to minimize your risk while maximizing your pleasure.

Greenshirt146803234x633_0He didn't know he was HIV-positive

You like him, he likes you and both of you seem to be as healthy as can be. Of course you would use a condom for a hook-up, but this isn't a hook-up and condoms are so "unromantic." Many people feel like sex without a condom is more intimate and a sign of trust. The decision to remove a condom as a relationship progresses can be a very good thing, but not before you've been tested together. Remember, more than half of young people living with HIV do not know that they are HIV-positive. And according to the CDC, the majority of HIV infections occur from someone who is unaware of their status. If you skip getting tested together, one of you may unknowingly transmit the disease.

Drunk78783114x633_0Drugs and Alcohol impaired your judgment

So you claim to wear condoms most of the time, but when examining your most recent sexual romps, the details are a little hazy. Maybe you wore a condom, maybe you didn't. Drugs and alcohol are one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to the spread of HIV. If you know that your likelihood of wearing a rubber decreases as the drinks start to flow, you may want to take a sobering look at just how risky your behavior may be.

Dontask512321809x633_0You didn't ask, he didn't tell

Naturally, you would assume that anyone who is HIV-positive would disclose his or her status before having sex with you. So you just presume that since they didn't bring it up, you're safe. Unfortunately, people fail to disclose all kinds of things, especially when it comes to sex. If you don't ask, he may not tell you. And in case you need reminding, just because he says he is HIV-negative doesn't make it true. When it comes to your HIV status, you cannot afford to be too idealistic.

Top522539795x633_0You are a top so you thought you were safe

It's common knowledge that HIV is a "bottom" thing, right? So when a hot guy is cool with going at it without a condom, you consider it safe. But if the same guy is unknowingly living with HIV and carrying a high viral load, your risk might not be as low as you think. Many men have reported contracting HIV from topping during anal sex. According to a recent study, around one-in-five men who were recently infected were tops.

Tome480236753x633_0You thought it couldn't happen to you

It's easy to consider HIV as separate from your reality and, therefore, not a threat to your health. Many people living with HIV do so in secret; never revealing their status to their friends and family. This, along with improved medications, has created an environment where people falsely believe that HIV isn't a part of their world. Don't be naive. HIV continues to spread and you are just like everyone else -- at risk for HIV.

So get tested, talk about prevention with your friends and your partner, and be aware of the risks you face. Your sexual health depends on it.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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