HIV / AIDS

Has Your Healthcare Provider Offered You an HIV Test?


I Would Want To Know...


If I had diabetes, high blood pressure, or cancer I would want to know. I am glad my health care provider routinely offers me screening for these conditions. Early diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death. Likewise, if I had human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) I would want to know. Treatment has improved dramatically in recent years. Though there is still no cure or vaccine, there are medications that can keep the virus at bay and help me live a long, productive life.

It is estimated that about 20% of HIV-positive New Yorkers do not know they are infected. About one third of those who test positive, develop AIDS within one year. This means that they have been HIV-positive for a long time. They have lost the opportunity for early treatment and have potentially been exposing others to the virus for years. In 2010, in an effort to improve this situation, the New York State Legislature passed a Public Health Law requiring health care professionals to offer HIV testing to all patients age 13-64 years; in essence, making HIV testing a part of routine, high quality medical care in New York.

Has your health care provider offered you an HIV test? If not, ask for one. It could mean the difference between life and death.

If you do not have a health care provider, call New York's toll-free hotline at 1-800-962-5063 to find a testing location near you. A Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) hotline is available at (585) 423-8120.

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