HIV can be spread by having unprotected sexual contact with an HIV-positive person. “Unprotected” means sex (anal, oral, or vaginal) without barrier protection, like a condom. Some of the ways to reduce your risk of getting HIV through sexual contact include:
- Don’t have sex – ABSTAIN. Sex (anal, oral, or vaginal) is the main way that HIV is transmitted. If you aren’t having sexual contact, you are 100% protected from getting HIV in that way.
- Be monogamous. Being monogamous means: 1) You are in a sexual relationship with only one person and 2) Both of you are having sex only with each other. Having only one sex partner reduces your risk of getting HIV—but monogamy won’t protect you completely unless you know for sure that both you and your partner are not infected with HIV.
- Get tested and know your partner’s status: Knowing your own status is important for both your health and the health of your partner. Talking about your HIV status can be difficult or uncomfortable—but it’s important to start the discussion BEFORE you have sex.