High-Risk Sexual Behavior

Overview

High-risk sexual behavior is sex that puts you at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), unplanned pregnancy, and being in a sexual relationship before you're 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 male or female condom use, except in a long-term single-partner (monogamous) relationship.
  • Unprotected mouth-to-genital contact, except in a long-term single-partner relationship.
  • Early sexual activity, especially before age 18.
  • Having more than one sex partner.
  • Having a high-risk partner. (This is a partner who has more than one sex partner or other risk factors.)
  • Having anal sex or a partner who does, except in a long-term, single-partner relationship.
  • Having sex with a partner who injects or has ever injected drugs.
  • Exchange of sex (sex work) for drugs or money.

Credits

Current as of: November 22, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor MD - Emergency Medicine

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This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.