Testing, Treating and Preventing HIV and STIs

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All New Yorkers deserve to have a sex life that is enjoyable and healthy. This includes having access to sexual health information and services on HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, treatment and prevention.

Below are tips that you and your partner(s) can use to have a sex life that is safe and healthy.

Get Tested

Know your HIV status

  • Get tested at least once a year. Knowing your HIV status is the first step toward taking care of your sexual health.

  • Talk to your partners about testing. Ask your sex partners about the last time they had an HIV test. To be sure, get tested together.

  • Get tested for free. Free or low-cost tests are available for anyone 12 and older at NYC Sexual Health Clinics, regardless of immigration status.
    • If you test negative, learn about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and other HIV prevention options.
    • If you test positive, stay healthy and prevent passing HIV to others by taking medications. The sooner you start HIV medications, the less HIV can damage your body. Starting HIV treatment today and taking medicines as prescribed will make the virus undetectable faster. People who maintain an undetectable viral load cannot pass the virus through sex. This is known as Undetectable = Untransmittable.
    • Use the NYC Health Map to locate a clinic with experience providing HIV treatment.

For more details and information about testing, visit HIV Testing.

Get Tested for STIs

Get tested for other STIs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. Many people with an STI have no signs or symptoms. The only way to know if you have an STI is to get tested. If left untreated, STIs can have lasting effects on your body. They can make you more likely to get or pass HIV to others. Some infections can also be passed to a baby during pregnancy, leading to birth defects or stillbirth.

To find out where to get STI testing, use the NYC Health Map or visit an NYC Sexual Health Clinic.

Use Condoms

Condoms help prevent HIV, other STIs and unintended pregnancy.

Find the size and type of condom you like. Condoms are available for free in NYC. To find out where you can get free condoms, call 311 or use the NYC Health Map.

If you want to prevent pregnancy, talk to your provider. There are many safe and effective birth control options available for you.

Taking PrEP or PEP to Prevent HIV

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a safe and effective medicine that prevents HIV.

Use the NYC Health Map to locate a clinic with experience providing PrEP.

If you are not taking PrEP and think you may have been recently exposed to HIV, take emergency PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis).

Emergency PEP are safe and effective medicines started after a possible exposure to HIV to prevent infection. Emergency PEP should be started as soon as possible within 72 hours after exposure.

If you think you were exposed to HIV, call the 24/7 NYC PEP Hotline at 844-3-PEPNYC (844-373-7692).

Additional Resources

More Information