Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

High-Risk Sexual Behavior


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.


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