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Home 5 About Us 5 FAQs


How do I request an appointment for medical case management or clinical services?

Call 833-4HIV-HELP and ask for the clinic or case management team to schedule an appointment. Or you can fill out the “Request an Appointment” form located on the home page.

How do I request an appointment to be tested for HIV or Hepatitis C?

Call 833-4HIV-HELP and ask for an appointment to be tested for HIV and/or Hepatitis C. You can also fill out the “Request an Appointment” form located on the home page.

How do I qualify for Ryan White Services?

In Pennsylvania there are five (5) eligibility requirements for Ryan White services or payment for services:

  • Proof of residency in Pennsylvania and within the service region
  • Proof of HIV positivity (lab documents showing results)
  • Proof of income that is equal to or less than 500% of the current Federal Poverty Level—more information here
  • Proof of identity (such as a driver’s license)
  • Proof of insurance (or lack of insurance)

Certification is approved at the first visit with recertification required annually. See the policy notice for the most recent requirements. Remember, you are not alone. PA Thrive Partnership can help you with this process! Call 833-4HIV-HELP to learn more. 

How do I apply for housing through PA Thrive Partnership?

Call PA Thrive Partnership at 833-4HIV-HELP and ask to speak to a medical case manager. They will conduct a housing assessment and, after eligibility is determined, outline next steps to secure housing.

How often should I visit my HIV provider in clinic?

All patients are different, but the general recommendation is to visit your HIV specialist at least twice a year. As your condition changes over time, our expert team of medical providers will let you know how often is necessary. Over time, your condition will improve and your visits won’t be required as often. 

Do you have a dietitian and how do I get an appointment?

Yes—PA Thrive has a dietitian that can help design a nutrition plan that best fits your needs. Contact your case manager or HIV provider for a dietitian referral—the dietitian will call you within 3 business days to schedule an appointment for an assessment. The appointment can be conducted in person or via a telehealth call.

Does PA Thrive offer mental health services?

Yes, we partner with our friends at Journey to a Trauma Informed Life. Available services include individual counseling, group/family/child counseling, yoga therapy, and art therapy.

How can I make an appointment for Journey to a Trauma Informed Life (mental health services)?

Call 833-4HIV-HELP and speak to your medical case manager or HIV provider to initiate a referral to mental health services. Staff at Journey for Trauma Informed Life will call the number you provide to set up an initial visit.

Do you have a Peer Advocate?

Yes—to request an appointment by a peer advocate, call 833-4HIV-HELP and ask for your medical case manager. They will facilitate the referral for you.

What exactly is HIV?

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system and interferes with the body’s ability to fight infection and disease. It can be spread through contact with semen, vaginal fluids, anal mucus, or infected blood. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), which is when the body’s immune system is badly damaged and marks the most advanced stage of HIV infection.

Is there a cure for HIV?

There is currently no effective cure for HIV. Once people get HIV, they will always have it. However, attentive care and treatment for HIV can help the condition from worsening and enable individuals to lead active and healthy lives.

Why is it important to learn about HIV and AIDS?

With proper education, you can learn to protect yourself and others from infection and/or understand how to manage HIV and take steps to prevent it from severely affecting your health and progressing further.

What happens if HIV is left untreated?

Untreated HIV typically turns into AIDS in about 8 to 10 years. When AIDS occurs, your immune system has been severely weakened and you’ll be more likely to develop diseases that wouldn’t usually cause illness in a person with a healthy immune system.

What are the main causes of HIV?

HIV is contracted through unprotected vaginal or anal sex with someone who has HIV and who is not taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV. It can also be acquired by sharing needles or other equipment for injecting drugs with someone who has HIV.

What is usually the first sign of HIV infection?

People with HIV may have symptoms at the very beginning of their infection that include swollen glands, fever, headaches, and muscle soreness. However, some individuals do not experience any notable symptoms at the time of infection.

How can I be safe during sex and protect myself further?

Because HIV passes from one person to another during sex through body fluids like semen, vaginal fluid, and anal mucus, the best way to protect yourself if you’re going to have sex is to use a condom every single time. Using water-based or silicone-based lubricants can help prevent condoms from breaking or slipping during sex.

The good thing is that if your partner is HIV positive and their HIV viral load is undetectable, the chance of HIV transmission is very low. However, PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) medication, a form of antiretroviral therapy, is a highly effective strategy—if you do NOT have HIV—for reducing the risk of getting HIV. Individuals who use PrEP can lower their chances of HIV infection by up to 99%.

What should I do if I can’t afford medications or treatments?

The Ryan White Care Act provides access to HIV-related medications, assistance, and health care insurance at affordable rates or at no cost to qualified individuals.

In addition, Pennsylvania offers the Special Pharmaceutical Benefits Program (SPBP) which provides assistance for medications to eligible state residents.  Learn more about SPBP here.

Do I need to tell my employer about my HIV?

No. Your health information is private and protected by federal law, and there is no expectation that your employer should ask or need to know your status.

How do I tell others I have HIV?

This is a difficult and emotional task. Your HIV provider or medical case manager may be able to help you develop an approach that best fits your situation to talk with family, loved ones, and friends.

Does living with HIV mean I can’t have sex anymore?

No. A person living with HIV can still have full and satisfying sexual relationships. Discuss this with your HIV provider to learn how to lower your HIV viral load to an undetectable level so that the HIV virus won’t be transmissible.

Is it true that, if my viral load is undetectable, I cannot pass the virus onto my sexual partners?

Yes. A simple equation to remember is Undetectable=Untransmissible or U=U. You can learn more about HIV transmission and prevention from the National Institutes of Health.

Doctor consulting with patient.