July 9, 2020 at 6:00 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
D.C. launches free, home HIV test kit program

The D.C. Department of Health on June 27 began issuing free, at-home HIV test kits to anyone interested in obtaining the kits through an online mail delivery program.

“The safe and easy OraQuick rapid HIV test kit allows a person to self-swab their mouth to get a result in 20 minutes,” according to a statement released by the Department of Health. The statement says that beginning June 27 city residents could obtain information and order a test to be mailed to their D.C. address through the website GetCheckedDC.org.

“While we are asking people to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic, they can know their HIV status by taking this convenient test,” said Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director of the DOH. “D.C. is breaking down barriers and affording equitable access to HIV testing through this initiative,” she said.

“For anyone who tests positive, the good news is people with HIV can have long, happy and fulfilling lives,” the DOH statement continues. “D.C. has high-quality medical care and other services for support. D.C. Health recommends scheduling an appointment with a medical provider or calling the D.C. Health and Wellness Center at 202-741-7692,” the statement says, referring to people who test positive. “The Health and Wellness Center can start people on HIV medication the same day as the appointment.”

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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