Last Sunday I went to the Minami Shinjuku Building in Shinjuku, Japan, in the heart of Tokyo. I heard that there was a free testing center in Tokyo, and I was curious to know exactly where to go get them done. It’s not just hearsay, there actually is a free testing center on the third floor of the Minami Shinjuku Building. If you are at all concerned about your status or if you just wanted to take a test, this is the place and yes…it is COMPLETELY FREE. The attendants didn’t speak a lot of English, but the different forms I had to fill out were in English, too. I know, I know, there is a huge stigma associated with HIV testing, people feel ashamed and often embarrassed to even talk about it. For those who feel embarrassed, this place is perfect because it’s anonymous testing. I never even had to give my name. You are assigned a number, and you just come back at your scheduled date and time, and pick up your results…easy, right?
I must say that the woman who had draw my blood had a really tough time. After the inserting the needle, nothing came out…so she slid the needle into my arm at different angles…an unprecedented five times. She seemed like a really nice lady, but for some reason she just could not get the vein and tourniquet thing right, so she ended up having to use a syringe with suction. For people that hate needles, it would have been a nightmare for you, but it really didn’t hurt…seriously. I don’t think this is a common occurrence so please don’t panic. It is of course a free test, so I didn’t complain.
If you feel you’re at risk and you want to be sure, there is a test facility at the Minami Shinjuku building in Tokyo. If you have been exposed, the paperwork at the center says waiting sixty days after an potential exposure is a good marker, just to be certain. The Minami Shinjuku Building is pretty close to the station, but could be a little tricky to find, so I’ll show you how to get there:
The official address is
Tokyo Metropolitan Testing & Counseling Office
3F Minami Shinjuku Building
The telephone number (all in Japanese, sorry) is
You’re supposed to be able to make a reservation by phone so won’t have to wait once you get there, but I didn’t know exactly how to do that, so I just went. I did end up having to wait for about an hour though (it was my day off, though, so I was alright).
I hope you won’t have to use this post out of necessity, but I do hope you found this information useful.
Thanks for reading,
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