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Sex Acts That Increase STI Risks

By on October 24, 2014

Many young people engage in sexual risk behaviors that can result in HIV or another sexually transmitted infection (STI). For example, among U.S. high school students surveyed in 2013. And a whopping 40% did not use a condom the last time they had sex according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But some adults are just as risky. There’s no doubt that mouth to penis stimulation or oral sex, penetrative anal and vaginal sex all feel good but also can result in an STI if you’re not careful. Consider that more than 80% of guys admit to having used at least one tactic to avoid using condoms during sex, according to a new survey published in the Journal of Sex Research

Risky Sexual Behaviors

  • Unprotected penetrative intercourse without male latex condom.
  • Unprotected mouth-to-genital contact.
  • Engaging in unprotected (no condom) penetrative sex with multiple sex partners without knowledge of HIV/STI status.
  • Having multiple sex partners who’s infection status is unknown.
  • Having a high-risk partner (one who has multiple sex partners or shares needles).
  • Having anal sex or a partner who does with multiple people.
  • Having sex with a partner who injects or has ever injected drugs or shares needles for any reason.
  • Exchange of sex (sex work) for drugs, shelter, food, money, etc.


The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior indicates that there is enormous variability in the sexual repertoires of U.S. adults. And adult men and women rarely engage in just one sex act when they have sex. While vaginal intercourse is still the most common sexual behavior reported by adults, many sexual events do not involve intercourse and include only partnered masturbation or oral sex. When it comes to responsible sexual behaviors, condom use is higher among black and Hispanic Americans than among white Americans and those from other racial groups.

So when people do decide to be sexually active, what are the reasons for the high risk behaviors given the high rates of HIV and STI transmission in America? For our purposes, high risk behaviors are those acts that in and of themselves can directly result in the infection and/or transmission of a STI.

Common Reasons for High-Risk Behaviors

  • Do not understand the risk of STIs and how they are transmitted.
  • Do not talk about safer sex practices with sex partners.
  • Are calculating risk of sexual pleasure with potential risk of infection.
  • Unaware of symptoms of STIs.
  • Low investment in personal care. May consider infection inevitable.
  • Under influence of alcohol and drugs when having sex. Drugs and alcohol impair judgment.

Take the time to get to know your sex partners and ask about their HIV/STI status. Know your own HIV/STI status and if you are managing HIV disease, adhere to medication.

Remember getting a test is the only way to know for sure what your status is and is not. Healthy sexual behavior starts with information, so go to trusted sources like local health departments, your neighborhood clinic, or even here at Healthyblackmen.org for information to protect yourself.

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