Anyone can be at risk of getting infected with HIV, however certain groups are more at risk to get infected.
“Communities. When you live in a community where many people have HIV infection, the chance of being exposed to HIV by having sex or sharing needles or other injection equipment with someone who has HIV is higher. You can use CDC’s HIV, STD, hepatitis, and tuberculosis Atlas Plus to see the percentage of people with HIV (“prevalence”) in different U.S. counties and states, as well as other data. Within any community, the prevalence of HIV can vary among different subpopulations.
Subpopulations. In the United States, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are the population most affected by HIV. According to CDC, in 2018, gay and bisexual men accounted for 69% of new HIV diagnoses. By race/ethnicity, Blacks/African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Also, transgender women who have sex with men are among the groups at highest risk for HIV infection, and injection drug users remain at significant risk for getting HIV.
Risk behaviors. In the United States, HIV is spread mainly through having anal or vaginal sex or sharing needles or syringes with an HIV-positive partner. Anal sex is the highest-risk behavior. Fortunately, there are more HIV prevention tools available today than ever before. These include using condoms correctly, every time you have sex; pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a prevention method in which the HIV-negative partner takes daily HIV medicine to prevent HIV; and treatment as prevention, a method in which the HIV-positive partner takes daily HIV medicine to achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load. If a person with HIV takes HIV treatment every day exactly as prescribed and gets and keeps an undetectable viral load, they have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their partners through sex.
Visit the CDC’s U.S. Statistics page for more information on how HIV affects different populations.”