Five interesting places to get an HIV test


A worker passes out flyers for free HIV testing outside a Walgreens pharmacy in Times Square on June 27, 2012 in New York City.


Mario Tama

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Sick of awkward small talk with your hair dresser? Bored waiting in that long line to get your license renewed? Tired of the dance floor?

Take a break, and get tested.

HIV testing is becoming more routine all the time, as AIDS activists and medical professionals aim to improve early detection and stem transmission rates in the US. As Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention told Reuters, “Our goal is to make HIV testing as routine as a blood pressure check.”

With this increase in testing comes an increase in untraditional testing venues. You no longer have to go to a clinic or a hospital to get an HIV test. Here’s a list of five other interesting places you can go.

1. At home – The AP announced on July 3 that the FDA has approved the first over-the-counter HIV test. A mouth swab that gives results in 20 to 40 minutes, the OraQuick test allows people to test themselves in the privacy of their own homes.

2. At the pharmacy – On June 27, National HIV Testing Day, the CDC announced a pilot partnership with Walgreens, where some Walgreens stores will offer free HIV testing.

(Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

3. At the hair salon – Flewellen’s Salon in South Oak Cliff, Texas, is also partnering with the CDC, offering free HIV tests to its clientele, according to a report from Dallas-Fort Worth’s Fox-4 News.

4. At the nightclub – Howard Brown Health Center of Chicago, IL offers periodic HIV testing at a few gay bars, including Antronio’s Bar and Grille in Berwyn, IL, and the Hideaway, in Forest Park, IL.

5. At the DMV – The nonprofit organization, Family and Medical Counseling Service Inc., offers free HIV tests at the DMV in Washington, DC. In 2011, Everyday Health put this on their list of unusual places to get an HIV Test.