- New York State Hotline 1-800-541-AIDS (English) or 1-800-233-SIDA (Spanish) or 1-800-369-2437 (TDD)
- New York City – 311
You can get HIV by:
- having unprotected anal or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV
- sharing needles, syringes or injection equipment with someone who has HIV
- a woman living with HIV can pass the virus to her baby during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding. However, HIV medication taken by the mother during pregnancy and by the baby for a short time after birth, and not breastfeeding, will prevent the virus from being passed to the baby.
It’s the only way you know for sure whether or not you have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The sooner you find out you are living with HIV, the earlier you can start treatment. Today’s HIV medications:
- Are very effective
- Are easy to take – maybe just one pill once a day
- Have few or no side effects – if you do have side effects they are short term and easy to manage.
It supports healthy sex. By knowing your HIV status, you can help protect your current and future sexual partners. Being on HIV treatment, along with using condoms, reduces the chance of passing the virus to your sexual partners.
It can put your mind at rest. Finding out that you are not living with HIV can allow you to stop worrying about the past.
Having a confirmed positive HIV test means that you are living with HIV. Having a negative test result means that you do not have HIV.
If your result is negative and you have ongoing risk for HIV, a healthcare provider can share prevention strategies, like male condoms, female condoms, PrEP, how to access new sterile injection equipment and other harm reduction strategies. You can also get annual testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Learn more about understanding your ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ HIV test result here.
Yes. Anyone can get HIV. Some people who test positive for HIV did not think they were at risk.
From your healthcare provider:
If you are over the age of 13, health care providers are required by public health law to offer you a voluntary HIV test at least once as part of your regular health care. If you are not offered a test, make sure to ask for one.
From a community organization or clinic:
There are community organizations and clinics all over New York State that provide confidential testing.
- New York State Hotlines: 1-800-541-AIDS (English) or 1-800-233-SIDA (Spanish) or 1-800-369-2437 (TDD)
- New York City – 311
If you have health coverage, the HIV test should be provided free of charge as part of an annual check-up or primary care visit. In other health care settings, like an urgent care center or emergency department, there may be a co-pay. Check with your insurance company or health care provider to find out for sure if the test is covered.