High-risk sexual behavior puts people at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), unplanned pregnancy, and being in a sexual relationship before being mature enough to know what makes a healthy relationship. Teens and young adults are at higher risk than adults.
Examples of high-risk sexual behavior include:
Unprotected intercourse without
female condom use, except in a long-term,
single-partner (monogamous) relationship.
mouth-to-genital contact, except in a long-term monogamous
Early sexual activity, especially before age
Having multiple sex partners.
Having a high-risk
partner (one who has multiple sex partners or other risk
Having anal sex or a partner who does, except in a
long-term, single-partner (monogamous) relationship.
with a partner who injects or has ever injected drugs.
sex (sex work) for drugs or money.
Reasons for high-risk behavior
People may have high-risk behavior because they:
May not understand the concern about STIs and how they are transmitted.
May not talk about safer sex practices with sex partners.
Aren't prepared or don't understand how to use protective measures to prevent STIs.
May not be aware of symptoms of STIs.
May not seek medical care for STI symptoms.
May not have access to treatment or be able to afford treatment.
May use alcohol and drugs and have sex. Drugs and alcohol
impair judgment and make unsafe sex more likely.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.