Multiple sex partners

No matter how many sexual partners you have, practising safer sex and protecting both yourself and others is an important part of your sex life.

The more sexual partners you have, the higher the risk of catching a sexually transmitted infections (STI) such as Chlamydia or Hepatitis C which can complicate your HIV treatment.

There are many reasons why people have lots of sexual partners, including enjoying the thrill of the chase or the feeling of being desired by a number of people.

It may also be because they use drugs or alcohol which makes them want more sex. This can have a very negative impact on your body as your immune system already needs help in keeping you healthy because of your HIV status, and drugs and alcohol make it work harder.
Drugs or alcohol can also make it more likely for you to have risky sex and make decisions you wouldn't normally in these situations. If your judgement is being clouded then you might not use condoms for sex, for example.
If you're having sex with a few different partners, only one of them needs to be infected with an STI for it to be passed between everyone. Many people are happy to have sex with each other without asking about STI status but remember that you cannot always tell if someone has an infection just by looking at them or at their behaviour.

If you're in a main relationship and have an agreement that sex outside the partnership is acceptable then being open and honest about any risks you may have taken is an important part of looking after each other's sexual health.

Always carrying condoms, knowing your limits with alcohol and avoiding drug use are all good steps to protect yourself in sexual encounters.