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Risk factors for STDs

As we discuss how often you should get tested for STDs, it’s also important to become familiar with the various risk factors that contribute to the spread of STDs. (Related: How STDs are spread)

Here are some factors that may put you at increased risk for STDs:

  • Having unprotected vaginal or anal sex with a sexual partner who isn’t wearing a condom increases your chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Oral sex may be less risky, though infection can still occur.

  • Having multiple partners puts you at a greater risk for STDs.

  • Injecting drugs and sharing needles can lead to infections like HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

  • Substance misuse, such as with drugs and alcohol, can impair sound judgment and put you at increased risk for engaging in unprotected sex.



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