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?