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Components of a Detailed Risk Assessment

for Health Care Providers

Table 1. Components of a Detailed Risk Assessment

Back to Prevention for Positives Chapter

* Serosorting, whereby an HIV-infected person has unprotected sex only with HIV-infected partners, likely reduces HIV transmission in settings where the HIV status of the partner is definitively known. Serosorting does not affect the risk of acquiring other STIs, including HBV and HCV infections, or the risk of reinfection with drug-resistant or more pathogenic strains of HIV.

For a more complete risk assessment questionnaire, see the Risk Assessment Battery (University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center), reproduced in the VA Prevention Handbook; see References

  • Number of recent sex partners
  • Sex of each partner
  • Type of relationship with each partner (eg, main, casual, anonymous)
  • HIV status of each partner
  • Whether patient discloses his/her HIV status to partners or potential partners
  • Type of sexual activity engaged in with each partner
  • Safer and less-safe sexual activities engaged in with each partner
  • Use of any risk reduction techniques (eg, condoms, serosorting,* disclosure)
  • Consider asking questions such as:
    • "What made it more difficult for you to use condoms during this sexual encounter/with this partner?"
    • "What made it easier for you to use condoms during this sexual encounter/with this partner?"
  • Substance use (including alcohol) associated with sex
  • Circumstances of risky sex behaviors (eg, while intoxicated or high, with anonymous partners, in particular settings)
  • Risky drug-use practices (eg, sharing injection equipment or nasal straws)
  • Barriers to "safer" sex (and drug-use) practices
  • STI symptoms
  • Women: current pregnancy, desire or intention for pregnancy, contraception
  • Men with female sex partners: intentions for conception or fathering, contraception
  • Use of ART, with virologic suppression

From Prevention for Positives
Primary Care of Veterans with HIV
Office of Clinical Public Health Programs
Veterans Health Administration, 2009