Avoid high-risk sexual behaviors

High-risk sexual behavior can lead to the acquisition of sexually transmitted illnesses such as gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, or HIV infection. High-risk sexual behavior is also known to spread human papillomavirus infection, which can lead to cervical cancer in women and other anogenital cancers in both men and women. High-risk sexual behaviors include the following:

  • Multiple sex partners
  • Sex partners with a history of the following:
  • Intravenous drug use
  • Venereal disease (sexually transmitted diseases or STDs)

Adverse consequences of high-risk sexual behavior:

  • Transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, genital herpes)
  • Transmission of hepatitis B (50% of hepatitis B infections are due to sexual transmission) and, in rare instances, hepatitis C
  • Transmission of human papilloma virus (HPV), which can cause genital warts and anogenital carcinomas, most commonly cancer of the uterine cervix
  • Unplanned pregnancy