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Why are bisexuals at a higher risk for HIV?

You may have seen on our website that there's a statistic about bisexual people being at higher risk for HIV than heterosexual folks. Let's unpack this.


First of all, that statistic doesn't mean that any random bisexual person is for a fact more likely to get HIV than any random hetersexual person. It means that as a group, there are higher rates of HIV among bisexual people than there are among heterosexual people. A big reason for this is sexual networks.

The above image (Harvard AIDS Initiative) is an example of a sexual network. People who are bisexual are more likely to have sex with someone from a pool of people that has higher rates of HIV. So it's not because the person is bisexual that they are at higher risk, but rather, because there's just more HIV in the sexual network that the person is a part of. Data also show that bisexual people tend to engage in behaviors that biologically cause more transmission of HIV/STIs (like having more sex partners, having anal sex).

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