tiaras optional

"My only argument is with those who do not view the world as cynically as I do." Michael Korda

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Syph Is the New Clap

To get married in DC, you need to get a license. And to get the license, you have to get a syphilis test. I imagine this law has been on the books forever, but it’s not such a bad idea because according to the DC Department of Health Web site, “Syphilis is Back!” And that’s the Department’s exclamation point, not mine. Apparently, infectious syphilis cases roses 55% from 2000 to 2002.

Getting tested for syphilis is turning into quite a project. Lord Kissington’s doctor is way out in VA and doesn’t do blood tests, so I figured we could both go to Whitman Walker to get the test done, because it’s in the neighborhood and they’re like totally STD testing central. Only you have to have form 366 from the Department of Health Services filled out by the doctor to certify your test. And Whitman Walker doesn’t know anything about said form. Also, they told Lord Kissington that if when we got there, they try to tell us that women aren’t allowed, that he should call the person he had talked to. I find this really strange. I know that their main clientele are gay men, but I know several women (and straight men) who have gotten STD tests there and HIV doesn’t infect men only.

So I ended up making appointments at my doctor’s office for both of us, and they were perfectly happy to do the syph tests for us. They don’t know anything about the form either (the DC Marriage Bureau Web site assures us that in DC, most doctors, labs, hospitals, etc. will have this form). So I decided to call the DHS to find out if I could actually get hold of this form myself. Well, it turns out that you don’t need the form, you just have to bring your test results down to the DHS lab and get them certified (which they do on the spot) and then you can get your license. So, the information on the DC Marriage Bureau Web site is all wrong. Why I am not surprised?

Apparently, the test has to be certified as negative, which leads me to wonder what happens if the test is positive? Are you not allowed to get married until you can be certified as syph-free? And wouldn’t it totally suck to have to tell everyone you’re postponing your wedding because you have syphilis?


  • At 2/16/06, 9:26 PM, Blogger JordanBaker said…

    I bet GWH has the appropriate forms. They love syphilis there.

  • At 2/16/06, 10:21 PM, Blogger Complacent Chase said…

    That would be funny though, if they were like, "Yeah, sorry we can't allow you to get married because you have syphilis." ha ha ha

  • At 2/17/06, 3:18 AM, Blogger Big Sky Girl said…

    I honestly don't think they could stop you from marrying over a disease. I'm pretty sure the Supreme Court would consider that discrimination. I think the point is to let people know if they have it and to let their partners know as well.

    On a funnier note, if I ever get married, I'll have to find a state that doesn't require a blood test. Oh the lengths, I would go to to avoid a syringe.

  • At 2/17/06, 4:50 AM, Blogger KOB said…

    Very funny post

  • At 2/17/06, 1:19 PM, Blogger Sharkbait said…

    Makes ya think I guess.

    That would be a terrible terrible thing to happen. Not to mention the most awkward.conversation.ever.

  • At 2/17/06, 2:44 PM, Blogger Kathryn Is So Over said…

    Congrats on making DC Blogs for this one! :)

  • At 2/17/06, 4:30 PM, Blogger Lady Tiara said…

    jb: GWH's love of syphilis is precisely the reason i don't want to go there. they would probably insist that i don't even need a blood test--they just *know* i have it. and the fact that i think i don't have it makes it even more likely that i do, of course.

    chase: funny, yes, but i might go insane if i got that close to the wedding and had to postpone it for that reason.

    miss abra: that makes sense, but the language on the DC marriage bureau web site is really vague (and just plain wrong in some cases). they make it sound like getting a license is contingent on having a negative test. of course, that problem could be easily solved by crossing the bridge to VA, where they do not require blood tests. just for future reference.

    kob: thanks! and thanks for the mention on DC blogs.

    sharkbait: yes, worst conversation ever. "so, remember that weird rash i had on my leg a few months back? yeah, funny story about that. turns out it wasn't dermatitis, it was syphilis."

    k: thanks!

  • At 2/17/06, 5:24 PM, Anonymous MappyB said…

    That's curious.
    Hear me out:
    Because, say, aren't most people monogomous in marriages (ok, let's pretend). Usually getting married implies that you are ready to only have one partner - AND, if you have syph already, that would imply you have already had another partner before your future spouse. SO - why wouldn't you have already had biblicial relations with your 'spouse' before marriage...I mean, most people would have, right? So....DC is implying that there may be many reformed virgins out there, that have sex, get syph, then decide to wait for marriage? I mean, in most cases, the partner would already have it, because they would of had sex already!

    Ok, I just thought WAY too much about that....

  • At 2/17/06, 10:18 PM, Blogger Scenic Artisan said…

    my favorite thing about getting married in dc is the name of the departments you have to pass to get your marriage license (license!)

    department of domestic violence
    Counsel for Child Abuse and Neglect Branch
    department of mental health and metal retardation
    Paternity and child support branch

    yeah.. uh. uplifting and romantic!

  • At 2/17/06, 11:57 PM, Blogger mysterygirl! said…

    Haha-- it would definitely suck to have to postpone your wedding due to the syphilis test. I mean, it seems like if you've made it that close to the altar they should just give it to you, you know?

  • At 2/18/06, 12:38 AM, Blogger Big Sky Girl said…

    I'm now totally getting married in VA! No blood test for me. Awesome

  • At 2/21/06, 9:44 PM, Blogger bryc3 said…

    dude, we need updates about kisses' condition on the morning after the bachelor party.

    i will give one:

    i bowled for the first time ever in my entire life on saturday, and i beat kisses. easily. nice man you got yourself there.

  • At 2/21/06, 10:08 PM, Blogger Lady Tiara said…

    mappyb: i can only imagine that with most couples, if one of them has it, the other one's got it at this point too. but i guess the law is pretty old and may harken back to a time when people might not have been having pre-marital sex.

    scenic artisan: that sounds like a great tour of all the things that can go wrong. "are you absolutely sure you want to go through with this?"

    mysterygirl: as long as both partners know and are ok with it, i don't see what the problem is.

    miss abra: well, depending on our test results, we may be getting married in VA! of course, we would still have to give the wedding guests a reason why we're not having a ceremony all of a sudden.

    bryc3: he was in rough shape when he got home and had a headache the next morning, but he really wasn't in terrible shape. he just doesn't get serious hangovers. as for the bowling, i don't think he's that great a bowler even when he's not drinking.

  • At 10/24/07, 7:30 PM, Anonymous weddingBells said…

    Thanks for your words of wisdom on navigating the DC government! We googled "DHS Form 366" and found your blog. This information will save us a lot of time. My problem is I have lupus and my STS test is *always* positive. They have to do a more specific test to prove I don't have syphilis. How do you explain THAT to explain to a lab tech at a clinic??..."Oh, so let me get this straight. Your test will be positive but you know you don't have syphilis?" Makes me wish we were getting married in Maryland!

  • At 5/29/12, 12:00 PM, Anonymous STD tests said…

    I can see lots of great ideas here. Your article is so remarkable that I've read it two times, and I'll advice my friends to read it too


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