Find the resources you need on this page to get and stay healthy so you can enjoy all that New York City has to offer! You can also enroll in NYC’s new, free texting service.
Did you know that medications now enable people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives? HIV treatment today is far more advanced than it was even five years ago thanks to better medications with fewer side effects. Untreated, HIV will do damage to your body years before you or others may begin to see the effects. Although no single treatment regimen can cure HIV, most can help prevent further damage to your body. After working with your health care provider to find a successful regimen, maintaining it is crucial to limiting the damage that HIV can do.
Care and treatment are available to every New Yorker living with HIV. If insurance is a concern, this page has the resources to help you find the coverage you need.
Find an Experienced HIV Health Care Provider
As soon as you test positive, the first thing to do is find a health care provider experienced with HIV care. Generally, after you are first diagnosed, you should visit your health care provider for a checkup at least once every three months to discuss your treatment plan and to find out whether the HIV in your body is actively multiplying.
Text CARE to 877877 to find a health care provider near you.
The most important thing about therapy is “adherence,” or taking your medications everyday as they are prescribed by your health care provider. Tell your provider about any personal issues that could make adherence difficult, such as depression, alcohol or drug use. If needed, your health care provider can recommend resources (either make a referral or provide other assistance) to help you address these issues before you start treatment. The better your treatment adherence is, the better your chances for living a long and healthy life on treatment.
If remembering when to take your medication is a challenge, sign up for the Health Department’s new confidential text reminders—text CARE to 877877 and you’ll learn how to set up your own customizable and confidential medication reminders.
The two key markers that are used to measure how well the medications are working are viral load (a measure of how much virus is in your blood stream) and T-cell count (a measure of the health of your immune system). The goal is to have an undetectable viral load and a high T-cell count. The New York City Health Department encourages all people living with HIV to discuss starting antiretroviral therapy (ART, sometimes referred to as “HAART” or as “ARV”) with your provider as soon as you enter care. Protecting your partner is great motivation to stay on medication! Speak to your doctor or other health care provider for more information.