On the ground in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Renew your driver's license, get an HIV test

September 24, 2010 - 04:03 PM
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The rate of HIV infection in D.C. remains an epidemic. But now District residents have an even more convenient option for free HIV testing: Get one while you wait at the DMV.

A public-private partnership struck between the city and Family and Medical Counseling Service (with additional funding from Gilead Sciences) means free HIV testing will soon be available at the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles' Penn Branch Office (3220 Pennsylvania Avenue SE).

"By offering HIV tests to District residents while they wait at the DMV we are able to reach out to residents who might not think to otherwise get tested," said Dr. Pierre Vigilance, Director of the Department of Health, in a statement.

Here's how it'll work, starting Oct. 4: a confidential testing room will be open at the DMV during business hours Tuesdays through Saturdays. No needles required, either, as they'll be offering oral rapid tests. Results are confidential, and health care workers will be on hand to help anyone who tests positive get an appointment for a full medical evaluation. The kicker? D.C. residents will also receive a money order as an added incentive to take the test (we're still waiting to hear back on how much those money orders will be worth). UPDATE: DOH spokesperson Dena Iverson says the money orders will be for up to $15, to go toward any DMV fees.

So now you can register to vote, register as an organ donor, and get an HIV test, all while renewing your driver's license. Now if they could open an office that makes parking tickets magically disappear, we'll be all set.


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