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A Sampler of Hotlines and Helplines

November 1998

Some of these hotlines and helplines serve New York City or neighboring areas, and some are national in scope. All hours of operation listed are Eastern Time.


Exponents, Inc.
(800) 673-7370
The Exponents hotline is run by a trained and caring staff made up almost entirely of people with HIV/AIDS or who are in recovery. The hotline provides information, education, and referrals for services, and even sets up appointments for callers. Individuals may also go to the Exponents office to talk face to face or for someone to escort them to appointments.
Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Gay Men's Health Crisis Hotline
(212) 807-6655
(800) AIDS NYC
TTY: (212) 645-7470
More than seventy highly trained volunteer peer counselors provide HIV-related education, information, referrals and emotional support, and offer a supportive ear and an opportunity for persons to find solutions to their problems.
Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
Saturday, 12:00 noon-3:00 p.m.

Hemophilia Association Helpline
(212) 682-5510
The HANY Helpline serves persons with hemophilia and related bleeding conditions, including those with HIV/AIDS, who live in the downstate region of New York. While the Helpline is not intended as a resource to resolve medical emergencies, staff and volunteers are available to answer questions and provide information and referrals.
24 hours a day

HIV/AIDS Treatment Information Service
(800) HIV-0440
TTY: (888) 480-3739
ATIS provides timely, accurate treatment information on HIV and AIDS. Bilingual (English/Spanish) information specialists answer questions about the drug and treatment therapies used to treat HIV infection, provide copies of federally approved HIV/AIDS treatment guidelines, and make referrals to other appropriate resources.
Monday through Friday, 9:00 A.M.-7:00 P.M.

Hyacinth AIDS Foundation Hotline (New Jersey)
(800) 433-0254
Located in New Brunswick, Hyacinth bills itself as "New Jersey's first AIDS Service Organization ... committed to the belief that there can be quality of life in a world with AIDS." The helpline answers questions about HIV disease pathogenesis, transmission, prevention, and treatment; STDs; legal services; Hyacinth development programs; and general Hyacinth administration information and services. Callers are also offered supportive listening and referrals.
Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

New York State Department of Health Hotlines
AIDS Tape Hotline (800) 541-2437
This is a library of recorded messages on HIV infection and AIDS in the categories of Transmission/Prevention, Diagnosis/Treatment, Women and Children, Miscellaneous, and Messages in Spanish.

HIV Counseling Hotline
(800) 872-2777
TDD: (800) 369-2437
Trained counselors can answer questions about HIV and AIDS, assess a caller's personal risk, and discuss prevention and treatment overviews. Website: The webpage has a question-and-answer forum and includes referrals to additional AIDS-related webpages. Both hotlines are toll-free and accessible from anywhere in the state. Both offer free literature through the mail and can provide a wide range of referrals.

Newborn Testing Hotline
(800) 662-9885
On February 1, 1997, the New York State Department of Health began HIV testing of all newborns. Individuals with questions, problems, or concerns as a result are invited to call this confidential, toll-free hotline. The hotline is administered by the HIV Law Project, a nonprofit agency that provides free legal services to low-income, HIV-positive individuals from the Bronx or Manhattan.
Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

PWA Coalition -- New York
(800) 828-3280
PWAC New York is one of the largest community-based organizations in the country devoted to the self-empowerment of people living with AIDS and HIV. It welcomes everyone living with AIDS and HIV and their friends and supporters. Hotline volunteers, all of whom are people living with AIDS and HIV, provide peer support and treatment information as well as referrals to social and medical services. Written information on HIV-related conditions and treatments is also available at no cost.
Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m
Special Services

  • Mothers of adult children living with AIDS and HIV, or who have lost an adult child to AIDS are available to speak Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • A specially trained pharmacist is available to discuss concerns with the ever-confusing topic of medications Tuesdays, 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Southern Jersey AIDS Alliance
(800) 281-AIDS
This confidential hotline staffed by trained volunteers and staff provides information about HIV/AIDS, referrals for medical and social needs, and general emotional support. The AIDS Alliance provides direct services in Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland Counties and general information and referrals statewide.
Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Southern Tier AIDS Program
(800) 333-0892
Trained staff people answer questions about HIV and AIDS and help callers explore testing options, confidentially and free of charge. STAP serves Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties.
Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


Clinical Trials Information Service
(800) TRIALS-A
TTY: (888) 4980-3739
ACTIS provides current information on federally and privately sponsored clinical trials for people with AIDS and HIV infection. English- and Spanish-speaking health information specialists provide information on the purpose of each study, whether or not it is open to enrollment, study locations, eligibility requirements and exclusion criteria, names and telephone numbers of contact persons, and drugs being studied.

Hospice Helpline
(800) 658-8898
Hospice is a comprehensive, medically supervised form of care that seeks to treat and comfort terminally ill people and their families in their homes or in homelike settings. The National Hospice Organization offers educational programs, technical assistance, and training curricula to its members, who include more than 2,300 hospice programs, 48 state hospice organizations, and 4,900 hospice professionals. As an advocate for the terminally ill, the NHO strives to influence health programs and public policies relative to hospice care and the needs of terminally ill persons and their families. Callers to the Hospice Helpline gain access to information about hospice care in general and about the hospices in their communities.
Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Answering machine nights and weekends


Ex-Con Hotline
(212)206-7070, Ext.338
This Fortune Society hotline for ex-offenders and youth at risk offers information and referrals in HIV/AIDS assistance, individual and group counseling, education, career development, treatment for substance abuse, inmate assistance, peer education training, and computer literacy training.
Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.


Gay & Lesbian National Hotline.
(888) THE GLNH Gay & Lesbian Switchboard of NY
(212) 989-0999
GLNH is a nonprofit organization that offers information, referrals, and peer counseling through its local and toll-free hotlines. With the largest referral database of its kind in the world, telephone volunteers have access to over 16,000 local referrals for anywhere in the country. They can also speak with callers about difficult issues that they may be facing in their lives, and help them to explore their feelings and possible options.
Monday through Friday, 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Saturday, 12:00 noon-5:00 p.m.

Prostitutes of New York
(212) 713-5678
PONY is an organization of sex workers of all kinds in the New York area and is affiliated with the International Network of Sex Work Projects. The PONY hotline is actually a voicemail service, and all calls are returned. PONY members staff the phone line and can make referrals to attorneys, accountants, and other valuable services. Inquiries from individuals and organizations and requests for speakers are also taken over the phone line.
24 hours a day


Domestic Violence Hotline
(800) 621-HOPE
Immigration Hotline (12 languages)
(718) 899-4000
Crime Victims Hotline
(212) 577-7777
TDD: (212) 233-3456
Elder Abuse Hotline
(212) 227-1227
STOPLine (for batterers who wish to stop)
(718) 596-1800
Rape, Sexual Assault & Incest Hotline
(212) 227-3000
Depending on the need and the individual, Victim Services hotlines may refer callers to any of the more than sixty programs the organization runs in community offices, courts, police precincts, schools, and medical centers throughout New York City's five boroughs. Its sites offer a range of practical and counseling services for domestic violence victims, victims in court, children and youth, elderly victims, families, sexual assault victims, travelers in distress, homeless youth, and immigrants.
24 hours a day

Back to the November 1998 Issue of Body Positive Magazine.

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This article was provided by Body Positive. It is a part of the publication Body Positive.