HIV Testing and Treatment
Testing for the HIV antibody is provided through Columbia Health's Gay Health Advocacy Project.
- Open to Everyone at Columbia—The service is available free to all students, their partners, staff, and faculty regardless of gender or orientation.
- Convenient—Drop-in hours for HIV-antibody testing are available five days a week with next-day results. No appointment necessary.
- Client-centered—Peer counselors are sensitive to your situation, whether it’s your first test or routine testing. They will tailor the session to your needs.
- Informational—Advocates from the Gay Health Advocacy Project welcome questions about HIV, STIs, vaccines, and safer sex.
- Non-judgmental—Our goal is to support you through your testing experience and provide you with accurate information.
- Confidential—Columbia Health upholds strict levels of confidentiality and all counselors are HIPAA-certified.
- No appointment is required.
- Results are ready the following day.
- Contact GHAP at 212-854-6655 to arrange for testing at times other than the drop-in hours or for additional questions.
At GHAP, we care about your privacy. At the Columbia Health reception desk on the third floor of John Jay, fill out the card labeled "We Care About Your Privacy," and write a first name (whatever name you want to be called) at the bottom. Indicate whether you are here:
- To get a test
- To pick up results for a test you had previously
- For another reason, by checking the appropriate response
Then, give the form to a patient services assistant behind the desk. Have a seat in the reception area and wait for an advocate to call the name you indicated on the form.
Consult with an Advocate
Even if you are not sure that you want a test, you can come in and talk with a peer advocate. Trained advocates from the Gay Health Advocacy Project will work with you to understand confusing and sometimes anxiety-provoking information about HIV and its transmission. We can help you assess and reduce your risk of HIV infection and provide information about the transmission, treatment, and prevention of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Advocates are also trained to provide peer counseling about other topics.
Treatment and Support for HIV-positive Students
The Gay Health Advocacy Project works with other Columbia Health staff to offer the clinical care, support, and information HIV-positive students need to manage infection effectively. All services are covered under the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan:
- Individualized care from an HIV specialist
- Regular monitoring of CD4 and viral load
- Preventative treatments
- Psychological support, both individual and through the HIV Positive Support Group.
For HIV-positive students who plan to study at Columbia, the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan provides coverage sufficient for HIV medication prescriptions, although you should choose the Platinum plan. If you have other insurance, we will help you connect to services that cover the costs. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
For students with a known or likely exposure to HIV, Gay Health Advocacy Project can facilitate further testing, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and professional support.