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HIV/AIDS Clinic Pushes For Testing During Capital Pride

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The Whitman-Walker Clinic's testing van parks in front of the Giant grocery story on Alabama Ave S.E. for those interested in getting free HIV tests.
Natalie Neumann
The Whitman-Walker Clinic's testing van parks in front of the Giant grocery story on Alabama Ave S.E. for those interested in getting free HIV tests.

By Natalie Neumann

With the Capital Pride celebration kicking off today, an HIV/AIDS clinic is reminding people to get tested.

As shoppers enter this Giant grocery store on Alabama Ave in Southeast D.C., they hear the voice of Juan Carlos.

"Free HIV testing. Free condoms," calls Carlos.

Carlos is a health educator for the Whitman-Walker Clinic and every Thursday at the store he hands out free condoms and helps as many as 30 people get tested for HIV in the clinic's mobile unit that's parked outside.

Charleston Pinkney says the free testing caught him by surprise.

"It's kinda weird, but yeah it is a good thing. People need to know," says Pinkney.

The test begins with a finger prick, then the sample of blood is examined for HIV antibodies. It takes 20 minutes, so by the time shoppers are done at the checkout, they can get their test results.

When Pinkney received his, he proudly flashed the circled negative to Carlos.

"You can't get that with any pay. It's a special gift," says Carlos.

The van will also offer free HIV testing on June 13th during the Capital Pride festival along Pennsylvania Avenue.

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