NYS launches HIV Self-Test giveaway campaign

The New York State Department of Health has launched its fall HIV Self-Test giveaway campaign, highlighting the importance of HIV self-testing. The giveaway, which launched on Nov. 13, will end on Dec. 31.

The HIV self-test giveaway is a self-testing strategy that makes HIV testing easily accessible and available to persons who may not seek out traditional in-person HIV testing services.

“HIV self-tests are an accurate and private way for people to learn their HIV status,” state Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. “Knowing your status is an empowering step to protecting your health and brings us a step closer to ending the AIDS epidemic in New York State.” 

It is estimated that 1 in 5 people with HIV in the United States don’t know their status, according to the Department of Health.

An HIV self-test kit allows people to learn their HIV status quickly and conveniently in the privacy of their own home. New York State’s first HIV Self-Test Giveaway began in 2016 as a pilot project to reach those who identify as men who have sex with men. The populations prioritized during this giveaway include cisgender Latinas, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning communities, and cisgender Black women. 

People interested in receiving a free HIV self-test kit can visit the Department of Health’s website or text to 40457 to see if they are eligible to receive a free HIV self-test kit mailed directly to their home.

to locate a free, confidential HIV, STI or hepatitis test, visit gettested.cdc.gov.