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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.
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Want to learn more about HIV? HIV 101 is meant to help spark conversations and to share basic knowledge about HIV prevention and treatment.
Do you know your HIV status? To learn about testing and even get a free at-home test kit, visit KnowYourHIVStatus.com.
Are you living with HIV and need help with housing, medication or medical care? Our patient care programs are here for you. You can even apply for assistance online!
Do you want to prevent HIV? Get PrEP’d!
HIV is a life-threatening virus that damages the body's immune system and leaves a person vulnerable to opportunistic infections. Because there is no cure, reducing the transmission of HIV while minimizing its effect on those living with it is critical.
Florida has adopted a comprehensive strategic approach to prevent HIV transmission and strengthen patient care activities.
Florida’s Plan to Eliminate HIV Transmission and Reduce HIV-Related Deaths
Four Key Components
- Implement routine HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) screening in health care settings and priority testing in non-health care settings
- Provide rapid access to treatment and ensure retention in care (Test and Treat)
- Improve and promote access to antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP)
- Increase HIV awareness and community response through outreach, engagement, and messaging
Read on to learn more about each component and related resources.
Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should have an HIV test in their lifetime. Those with ongoing risks should be tested more frequently, as should pregnant women, who should be tested in their first and third trimester.
Talk with your health care provider or locate a testing site near you by visiting KnowYourHIVStatus.com.
Do you provide HIV testing? Learn about consent requirements, model protocols and more in our Counseling & Testing Resources.
People living with HIV who take antiretroviral medication as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV to their sexual partners.
In January 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services updated its HIV Treatment Guidelines to recommend that antiretroviral therapy be initiated as soon as possible, regardless of CD4 T-cell count or HIV viral load. Florida implemented this guidance through its Test & Treat program.
The Test & Treat program helps newly diagnosed people or those returning to care by providing:
- Immediate linkage to a clinician who can provide:
- Access to antiretroviral medications
- Medical assessments
- Education on HIV and HIV management
- Linkage to case management to help with accessing community resources
Patient Care Resources
For ongoing HIV care, our Patient Care program can provide help with housing, medication and medical care. You can even apply for assistance online.
You can also learn more about HIV medical and support services in your area by contacting the Florida AIDS Hotline.
- In English: 1-800-FLA-AIDS or 1-800-352-2437
- En Espanol: 1-800-545-SIDA
- In Creole: 1-800-AIDS-101
And you can visit KnowYourHIVStatus.com to learn more about living well with HIV.
3. Improve Access to PrEP and nPEP
PrEP and PEP are both part of a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy. PrEP is a preventative tool for people at risk of acquiring HIV. PEP is a stopgap measure for people who have had a potential HIV exposure. Both involve using antiretroviral medications to reduce the risk of HIV transmission to HIV-negative individuals.
Learn more on our PrEP and PEP page.
4. Increase HIV Awareness and Community Response
Knowledge and understanding of HIV, prevention strategies, and available resources to live healthy are critical to reducing HIV in Florida.
The Florida Department of Health offers numerous HIV prevention strategies to benefit the health of Florida’s communities. Learn more and join our growing network of grassroots HIV educators.
Florida has two AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETCs), which provide comprehensive resources for health care providers in the treatment and prevention of HIV:
- North Florida AETC with the University of Florida Health
- South Florida AETC with the University of Miami Medical School
More than three decades after the first HIV diagnoses were made, stigma remains a barrier to addressing HIV in the U.S. Learn more about HIV-related stigma and how to address it in your community with the CDC's Let's Stop HIV Together campaign.
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