Having unsafe sex is a risk factor in HIV transmission. Find out why below
SUMMARY: You might not think of sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol as a risk factor for HIV infection. Learn why having sex while not sober is dangerous.
HIV can be spread through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. The best way to prevent infection with HIV is to use a condom every time you have sex.
But even a careful person can be inconsistent with condom use when alcohol or drug use is involved – getting into a situation where safe sex is practiced incorrectly or not at all. In fact, sober sex is so important that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation lists sober sex as a preventative step in avoiding HIV infection.
Why sober sex is important in preventing HIV transmission
Having sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lead to the following unsafe sexual situations:
- Not using a condom
- Using a condom incorrectly
- Having sex with multiple partners
In addition to the above, substance abuse can also increase your sexual AND drug-use risk factors for HIV transmission (such as injecting drugs instead of smoking/snorting or sharing needles)
How to get tested for HIV if you use drugs or alcohol
The Centers for Disease Control recommend that people who engage in high-risk behaviors such as unsafe sex and IV-drug use, get tested for HIV at least once a year. Here’s what you need to know:
HIV testing is covered by most insurance
The Affordable Care Act covers the cost of HIV tests without deductibles and co-pays for people age 15-65 (as well as younger, high-risk people).
Find a confidential testing location
To find a testing center in your area, call 1-800-458-5231 or use the AIDS.gov confidential testing locator.
Us an at-home testing kit
If you choose to use an at-home test kit, make sure it has been FDA approved. Currently, two testing kits are approved by the FDA:
- OraQuick In-Home HIV Test
- Home Access HIV-1 Test System
FROM THE HHN EDITORS:
Condom use is so important to prevent HIV transmission that it is essential to know how to use one properly. Watch this video to to ensure correct use: How to put on a condom.