for Veterans and the Public
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the chances of a man being infected with HIV after condomless sex with a woman?
In general, the risk of a man getting HIV from an HIV-positive woman during vaginal intercourse in the United States is low--probably less than 1 of 1,000 exposures will result in actual infection. This risk may be higher depending on certain factors, such as whether the woman is having her period or whether the man is uncircumcised, and it also may be higher in poor countries. It is very low if the woman is taking effective anti-HIV medications and/or if you are taking PrEP (a daily pill to prevent HIV).
Of course, there is no risk of getting HIV from a woman unless she has HIV, so it's good to talk about this with any potential sex partner. After all, she may have the same thoughts or concerns about whether YOU have HIV, but also might not bring up the subject. And since it's often hard to be sure, especially if you don't know someone very well, remember that using a condom can greatly reduce the risk of spreading or getting HIV and other diseases, can prevent unintended pregnancy and can be a good way to show that you care about your partner.
An even better way might be to get to know your partner really well before having sex, which makes it easier to talk about HIV and pretty much everything else.