Instead of reading, people-watching, or cursing the MTA while you wait for your train to arrive today, you could be getting tested for HIV.
In honor of National Latinx (like Latino, but gender-neutral) AIDS Awareness Day, the city's Health Department and more than 40 community partners are teaming up to offer New Yorkers free rapid HIV testing while they wait for the train.
Volunteers are administering the tests at 25 subway stations (and ferry outposts, Staten Island) throughout the city today. Rapid tests take up to 30 minutes to deliver results, so you may have to miss a train or two while you wait (jk, you'll have plenty of time!), but it's ultimately worth it. According to a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average cost of rapid HIV testing and counseling is $48.07 for an HIV-negative test and $64.17 for a preliminary positive test.
According to State Senator Brad Holyman, Latinx New Yorkers are nearly 29 percent of the city's population but account for nearly a third of new HIV diagnoses. "In light of the CDC's finding that up to 90 percent of new infections are preventable with prompt care, these statistics are a stark reminder of why frequent testing remains an essential component of our fight to end the epidemic," he said.
Aside from making testing accessible to as many New Yorkers as possible, the city's Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention & Control hopes a rise in testing will reduce the stigma surrounding HIV while preventing people from contracting it.
"By normalizing testing and sharing messages of joy and hope, we at the Health Department continue to encourage all New Yorkers to work to end HIV with love of our communities," the Bureau's Assistant Commissioner Dr. Daskalakis said in a statement. "HIV treatment and prevention must find people where they are at."
Free testing is available today only until 6 p.m. at the following locations:
- 161 St./Yankee Stadium (B, D, 4)
- Fordham Road (B, D, 4)
- West Farms Sq. - E. Tremont (2, 5)
- 116 St. (6)
- 125 St. (4, 5, 6)
- 168 St. (A, C, 1)
- Dyckman (1)
- 181 St./Broadway (1)
- Penn Station (A, C, E, 1, 2, 3)
- Herald Square - 34 St. (B, D, F, M, N, Q, R)
- 14 St. Union Square (L, N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6)
- 61 St. - Woodside (7) 74 St./Roosevelt Ave. (E, F, M, R)
- Jamaica Center (E, J, Z)
- 82 St./Roosevelt Ave. (7)
- Woodhaven Blvd. (M, R)
- Flushing - Main Street (7) 103 St. - Corona Plaza (7)
- 30 Ave. (N, Q)
- Atlantic Avenue - Barclays (B, D, N, Q, R, 2, 3, 4, 5)
- Marcy Ave. (J, M, Z)
- Crown Heights/Utica Ave. (2, 3, 4, 5)
- Winthrop Street (2, 5)
- Knickerbocker (M)
- Staten Island Ferry Terminal