The world's most fa-a-a-bulous thrift store, the Out of the Closet chain has 13 Southern California locations, six of which provide free HIV-testing and counseling on a walk-in basis (Hollywood, West Hollywood, Venice, Atwater Village, Echo Park and Long Beach). The stores are owned and operated by the AIDS Research Foundation, and profits fund the foundation's medical and advocacy work. I took the test with my partner years ago; we did stuff, and we didn't give each other anything. (Maybe that was the problem.) Buy Out of the Closet's furniture; customize it, upholster it, paint it. Dismantle it and build tree houses. Buy clothes there. Alter them if they don't fit. Cut them up and make something else from the fabulous material. I just got a pair of Levis there for $4.62. How do they do it? Buy the star-spangled bandannas and put them on your dog. Donate your unwanted possessions there. Give them your departed mother's clothes (less painful than organ donation). They salvage wardrobes, they save lives, and you won't get no judgmental bullshit either. For locations and information on in-store HIV testing and the AIDS Research Foundation: (213) 405-5800,

—Mel Yiasemide

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.