Are virgins at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS?

Ronald Jay Werner-Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Historically, research on adolescent sexuality has focused on teen pregnancy, pregnancy prevention, and response to pregnancy. Recently, grass roots programs which encourage adolescents to take an abstinence pledge have become popular. This emphasis on pregnancy prevention rather than responsible contraception use may have unintended negative consequences. Adolescents and young adults might inaccurately perceive that pregnancy prevention is the only important issue associated with sexual behavior so they might engage in sexual play-such as oral-genital manipulation-which, although unlikely to cause pregnancy, places them at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS. The present study compares the sexual behavior of virgins to non-virgins to see if there is a difference in sexual experimentation. Results suggest that virgins are as likely as non-virgins to engage in non-coital sexual behaviors when they are involved in exclusive, committed relationships; this increases their chances of contracting HIV/AIDS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Education for Adolescents and Children
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Condom use
  • Pregnancy prevention
  • Virginity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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