Navigating The System
Please get tested regularly. If you have engaged in unsafe sexual relations, please get tested immediately. Remember, HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence anymore. But the best strategy is to always play safe. Do not believe people when they tell you that they are negative.
And if you start dating someone, go and get tested together. Keep yourself and your partner protected.
All links in this section will take you directly to the page on the corresponding Web sites for the services discussed. Please read this entire section so you are familiar with the services available to you. Here is information to help you in many ways in New York City. There are similar programs in every city and state. Please go to GET HELP on this site to get links to resources by state and a list of HIV/AIDS hotlines by state. There are also links to international resources. In addition, please check out our links to ORGANIZATIONS THAT MAKING A DIFFERENCE which provide valuable resources and informations that can help you and get you involved in helping others.
If you get tested and find out that you are positive, don’t panic. There is plenty of help for you. But knowing is power and could save your life. Many people are afraid to get tested because they just don’t want to know. This is a very dangerous way of thinking. You can get free confidential testing at these locations listed in the Testing section of this Web site.
Places to get anonymous HIV tests in NYC in addition to our partners supplied by The Center.
Home testing. – you can now test yourself at home and get results in 20 minutes. FDA approved tests are now available and sent in confidence to your residence.
For more information on this widget, please visit AIDS.gov.
Prevention If You Have Been Exposed To HIV Within The Last 72 Hours
Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). Have you been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours?
You may be eligible to receive PEP to reduce the chances of HIV infection. PEP is…
1. One month of HIV medications
2. A potential tool against HIV infections if taken as soon as possible after exposure, ideally within 36 hours.
If you have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours, visit us for a walk-in screening as soon as possible or call us at (212) 271-7200 at CALLEN-LORDE to make an appointment.
Basic Information About HIV/AIDS
Provided by GMHC.
Great resources in NYC for gay people and people living with HIV supplied by The Center.
Insurance and Case Management
If you do not have insurance, don’t worry. You will be able to get help through ADAP. ADAP provides insurance and medication for people who have HIV/AIDS. If you are determined to be positive the first thing you should do is to get counseling. A case manager will be able to help you fill out the necessary paperwork to get all the assistance that New York State has to offer. Housing Works/The Network , CALLEN-LORDE Medical and GMHC can get you started and assign you a case manager.
Housing Works/The Network is an amazing organization which will help you fill out and send the paperwork for you. You can reach them at 212 260-8868. Not only can they help you find a doctor and apply for insurance they can also help you with many other services including affordable housing, food stamps, applying for Social Security benefits and much more.
Here is a list of benefits you may qualify for provided by GMHC: Benefits.
Special assistance to people in the performing arts: The Actor’s Fund is another amazing organization that can help you if you work in any capacity in the performing arts – from artists/musicians to writers and stage hands. You can get an additional case manager who can help determine what assistance you qualify for and help you get the proper care that you need. The Actor’s Fund has many programs including monetary assistance, affordable housing assistance, and counseling to name a few. If you are someone in the arts and has been determined HIV positive, it is a great idea to contact this organization.
Once you have been tested, it is important for you to get blood work done to see what your T-Cell Count is. This document is important to have when applying for insurance and benefits. There are several free clinics-your case worker can help you find one that will help you get these documents.
Finding the right doctor is extremely important. You must be comfortable speaking frankly about your condition and activities in order to get the best possible care. Your case worker can help you find the right doctor. Don’t be afraid to be picky – you need to have complete trust in your doctor. If you have a doctor, you might want to find an additional one who specializes in HIV/AIDS care.
CALLEN-LORDE offers many health services including dental regardless of your ability to pay. Please check them out. They also provide free confidential testing. In addition they offer Primary Medical Health, HIV Primary Medical Health, Lesbian Health, Mental Health, Transgender Services and Health Education and Outreach and Health Outreach to Teens.
Talking About It Helps
There is no rule book about disclosure. Some people regard telling others that they are HIV positive similar to the difficulty some gay people face when coming out. Please trust your feelings and don’t feel you have to tell anyone you don’t feel comfortable sharing this information with. You will tell people in time, or perhaps you won’t- the choice is up to you. Just please always tell your sexual partners before you engage in sex- keep them protected as well as yourself.
Talking to professionals and maintaining good mental heath in paramount in keeping your spirits up and understanding what are the best choices for you. You can receive free individual and/or group counseling at some of our partners including:
The Center offers a great group for newly diagnosed people who just found out they are positive during the last six months. Positive Care I: Newly Diagnosed HIV+
This is a group for newly diagnosed HIV+ men to provide emotional support to ease anxiety, fear, and isolation related to a new diagnosis and to help members begin to adjust to HIV in their lives. Open to gay and bisexual men and men of trans-experience it offers you an amazing non-threatening platform where you can share your feelings with others in similar situations. You can talk freely about what you are feeling, discloser and share valuable information regarding your condition, services and resources available. You can join this group more than once if you feel you would like to continue with this type of group.
The Center also offers a follow up group. Positive Care II: Living with HIV.
This is a group for men living long term with HIV to provide emotional support to maintain and promote health and happiness. This group provides a space to discuss concerns around self-esteem, isolation, safer sex, stigma, etc. Open to gay and bisexual men and men of trans-experience. Call 646-556-9300 and ask to speak with the Center Care screening counselor.
Free Dental Services
Food and Nutrition
A critical aspect of staying healthy for people with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) GMHC offers great classes and information to help you make the right choices. Click here for info.
GMHC Provides free hot lunch Monday – Thursday and dinner on Friday. Eligibility: HIV positive clients – men and women. Contact number: 212-367-1420.
God’s Love We Deliver offers two great programs to provide you with free food to help you eat healthy. If you have trouble cooking or are not well enough to get out- there is a home delivery service. Every week, clients and their dependent children each receive ten well-balanced meals that are prepared in our professional kitchen by staff, along with the help of many volunteers. In addition to our nutritious meals, continuous nutrition counseling and education are provided. The Grocery Bag Program –Grocery bags are designed to provide medically stable clients with HIV/AIDS with one meal a day for a five-day period. Each week, bags containing nutritious non-perishable items along with fresh vegetables, are delivered to clients’ homes. The Nutrition Services Department adds a “Recipe of the Week” that utilizes the contents of the grocery bag. Clients also receive nutritional counseling and on-going nutrition education.
There are several programs that can help you find affordable housing in New York City. It is very important that you live in a place you feel comfortable. Your case manager will be able to help you find affordable housing programs that you may qualify for. Baily House is an organization that helps people with HIV/AIDS get affordable housing at 30% market rate.
There is also an 80/20 program in New York City which may allow you to get a brand new luxury apartment at a fraction of the cost. Check these listings daily and apply immediately. Sometimes you can apply online, but in most cases, you must send a post card to get an application sent to you to verify your address. Applications are processed on a first come first serve basis, so don’t delay.
If you are homeless youth HIV positive or not please check out this information provided by The Center.
GMHC has a staff of experienced attorneys, accredited immigration advocates, and volunteers who provide free legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS. They assist clients with immigration matters, eviction prevention, family law issues, permanency planning, employment discrimination, debt collection, bankruptcy, public benefits, wills, living wills, health care proxies, and confidentiality complaints.
They provide direct legal advocacy, representation, pro se advice, and appropriate referrals. They do not provide assistance or advice in criminal cases.
Housing Works is one of the nation’s leading providers of legal services to indigent individuals living with HIV and AIDS. Each year, Housing Works provides free legal advice and assistance to hundreds of homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV and AIDS on individual client matters, including landlord/tenant disputes, access to public assistance, child custody, preparation of wills, discrimination law, guardianship, and more.
Job Placement and Training
Housing Works offers The Second Life Job Training Program (JTP). It is New York State’s first and most successful job training and placement program for homeless people living with HIV. Graduates of the rigorous, nine-month program are guaranteed employment at a living wage with full benefits at Housing Works or one of Housing Works’ entrepreneurial ventures. To learn more about the Job Training Program, please contact: Jennifer Lester, Assistant Director (347) 473-7429, email: J.Lester@housingworks.org
The Center offers many training seminars, job readiness workshops and job fairs to help you find work. Please check out The Center’s Web site regularly to find out what’s coming up.
Special Services For Women
GMHC offers many services for women with HIV/AIDS including primary health care, counseling, childcare, meals, dental services and much more.
CALLEN-LORDE also provides many amazing services for women including comprehensive primary care and gynecological services focused on the unique needs of lesbians, with an emphasis on cancer screening and prevention. Breast Cancer Prevention: To assist uninsured patients, CALLEN-LORDE partners with Columbia Cancer Prevention Services to offer free screening and diagnostic testing for eligible individuals.