6 Different Ways You can get HIV
There are a lot of assumptions made about the kind of people who get HIV. Some people think that it is only an issue for people who are promiscuous, the poor, minorities, gay people, or whatever other group that they are not a part of. With the false safety of these beliefs, people continue to make common mistakes that have the potential to lead them to a rude awakening about who can get HIV. More than half of young people who are living with HIV are unaware of their status, and HIV infection is on the rise. So don’t be naïve about the kinds of people who can get HIV, because no one is exempt from infection and almost everyone has had an experience that could have made all the difference.
Here are six common ways that you can become infected with HIV.
You 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 always keep guessing your partner’s is faithfulness or be forced to wear condoms on your wedding night. But that doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye to the possibilities 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.
Drugs 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 of them are a little hazy. Maybe you wore a condom, but 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.
He 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 that isn’t what this is 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 the two of you get an HIV test 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 transmit the disease to the other without even knowing it.
You 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 assume that since they didn’t bring it up, you are 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 because he says he is HIV-negative doesn’t make it true. When it comes to your HIV status, you cannot afford to be so idealistic.
You are a top so you thought you were safe.
It’s common knowledge that HIV is such a “bottom” thing. 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 may not be as low as you think. Many men have reported contracting HIV from being the top during anal sex. According to a recent study, around one in five men who were recently infected were tops.
You thought it couldn’t happen to you.
It’s easy to consider HIV as not a part of your reality and, therefore, not a threat to your health. So 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 naïve to the reality that HIV continues to spread and that people like you are just like everyone else – at-risk for HIV.
So get tested, talk about prevention with your friends and your partner and don’t be so blind to the risks you face. Your sexual health depends on it.