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HIV Testing – The Gateway to HIV Prevention

HIV Testing

An HIV test is the only way to know if you or a partner has HIV. Young people do not need to have consent from a parent or guardian to get tested.

Getting tested and knowing your HIV status is the first step toward taking care of your health.

  • If you test negative, you can learn about HIV prevention strategies, like pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP (see below).
  • If you test positive, you should meet with a health care provider and start HIV medications right away.

There are lots of ways to get an HIV test at no cost to you:

  • Ask your usual health care provider for an HIV test.
  • Go to NYC Sexual Health Clinic. You must be age 12 or older.
  • Seek out an HIV self-test. To request a no-cost HIV self-test kit, contact an agency participating in the Community Home Test Giveaway (CHTG) program. Find CHTG partners on the NYC Health Map by clicking the Sexual Health Services category and then HIV Testing.

HIV Prevention

Anyone can get HIV, but you can take steps prevent it, including by:

  • Using condoms when you have sex.
  • Using sterile syringes when you inject drugs.
  • Taking HIV prevention medicines such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

Also, if you have HIV, getting and keeping an undetectable viral load is the best thing you can do for your health. Plus it means that you have no risk of passing HIV to any HIV-negative partners through sex. Learn more here.

Thinking about PrEP?  We have you covered.

  • PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is HIV preventive medication that can help you stay HIV-negative, even if your partner might be HIV-positive.
  • PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% when taken exactly as prescribed.
  • MetroPlusHealth has doctors who can prescribe PrEP for you and monitor you along the way.
  • Learn more about PrEP and how it may help you live your most positive life – while staying negative.


PrEP Information
last updated: November 14, 2023

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