When your judgment is impaired, you make bad choices.

Alcohol and illicit drugs lower your inhibitions and impair your judgment. Drinking and drug use can lead to risky behaviors that you would perhaps avoid if sober, including having unprotected sex. This impaired judgment increases your risk for exposure to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

HIV does not infect only gay men and intravenous drug users.

Any drug use increases your risk for HIV/AIDS.

Anyone who has unprotected sex, shares needles, or exchanges bodily fluids or blood with an infected person is at risk. HIV is a virus. AIDS is a disease. Viruses do not care about age, race, or sexual orientation.

Remember: If you know someone who is risking exposure to HIV/AIDS, urge him or her to stop or get more information. If your behavior places you at risk for exposure to HIV/AIDS, stop! If you have already possibly been exposed to HIV/AIDS, get tested and follow your doctor's instructions. The longer you ignore the real facts, the more chances you take with your life.

Not having sexual intercourse is the best way to protect yourself from all sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. If you are going to be sexually active, the following steps will help reduce your risk.


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