Because the most common ways HIV is transmitted is through anal or vaginal sex
or sharing drug injection equipment with a person infected with HIV,
it is important to take steps to reduce the risks associated with these.
In the United States, HIV is spread mainly by having anal or vaginal sex without a condom or by sharing drug-use equipment with an infected person.
Substance use can contribute to these risks indirectly because alcohol and other drugs can lower people’s inhibitions and make them less likely to use condoms.
This section provides information on the various risk behaviors and what you can do to lower your risk.