New York State Department of Health Announces HIV Self-Test Giveaway Campaign

For a Free HIV Self-Test Kit Visit Here or Text the Word TEST to 40457

Digital Ads Can be Found Here, Here, and Here

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 7, 2023) – The New York State Department of Health has launched its Fall 2023 HIV Self-Test Giveaway campaign, highlighting the importance of HIV self-testing as a tool to empower individuals to take control of their sexual health and reduce the transmission of HIV. 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. The giveaway launched on November 13, 2023, and will end on December 31, 2023.

"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."

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.

The digital awareness campaign includes targeted social media, banner and search ads. Ads running on Facebook can be found here, here, and here. The HIV self-test giveaway raises awareness about the importance of HIV Testing, particularly self-testing, for the prevention of HIV and early diagnosis. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people with HIV in the United States don't know their status. Encouraging people to get tested is not only the point of entrance to linking people to the HIV care continuum, but for people at greater risk of HIV to be aware of and access HIV prevention tools such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), condoms, and other behavioral interventions. Testing and identifying people with HIV who remain undiagnosed and linking them to supportive health care services is the first point in the State's plan to End the Epidemic.

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

Additional information and resources about HIV testing are also available to all New Yorkers at the Department's website.

To locate a free, confidential HIV, STI, or hepatitis test, visit

To learn more about the AIDS Institute and HIV, visit