A project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health

Skip Navigation

Womens Health logo
divider line

Alcohol and substance abuse and HIV risk


Related information

If you think you've been drugged or raped:

  • Call 911 or go to the hospital immediately
  • Ask the hospital to take a urine sample that can be used to test for date rape drugs
  • Don't pick up or clean up where you think the assault might have occurred
  • Get counseling treatment

Women who abuse drugs and alcohol are more likely to get HIV. One main reason for this is that anyone who uses drugs and alcohol is more likely to have risky sex. Risky sex can include:

  • Having sex without a condom. Women who are intoxicated are less likely to convince a partner to practice safer sex.
  • Having sex with someone when you don't know their HIV status

Women who use intravenous (IV) drugs may share needles, which, after sex, is the main way HIV is spread. Also, women who drink alcohol or use drugs may be at higher risk of sexual assault or rape. Forced sex with any partner puts you at risk of HIV. If you are raped, you need to see a doctor immediately.

Return to top

More information on Alcohol and substance abuse and HIV risk

Explore other publications and websites

Connect with other organizations

Content last updated: July 01, 2011.

Return to top