The Human Immunodeficiency Virus which causes the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is spread by transfer of blood between infected and uninfected persons. When I.V. drug users share needles the virus may spread. Sexual intercourse without condoms allows the spread of virus between partners.

The rate of infections due to heterosexual coitus is still rising steadily. Both heterosexuals and homosexuals should practice safer sex:
1. Limit sexual partners
2. Use condoms
3. Avoid anal intercourse.

Alcohol and drug use may interfere with judgement and make you forget to practice safer sex.

Latex condoms labeled for prevention of disease are not perfectly effective, but help prevent HIV infection during coitus.

The data are about 25 years old; it is difficult to accurately adjust the models used for the changes over the past 25 years. The risk of having HIV has changed only a little despite awareness of how to prevent getting it. The risk of dying of HIV has gone down due to much better care for those people who are diagnosed with the disease and better medication regimens based on the research that has been done about which treatments work best. At this time the CDC recommends routine screening for HIV to improve early diagnosis.