HIV Testing Events at Select Walgreens Locations in 54 Cities June 27-29
Whitman-Walker Health is teaming up with Walgreens, the nation’s largest pharmacy chain, and Greater Than AIDS, a coalition of public and private sector partners united in response to the domestic epidemic, to provide FREE HIV testing at two Walgreens stores in Washington, DC. The testing events are taking place June 27-29 in support of National HIV Testing Day.
Whitman-Walker Health will provide free HIV testing at the following Walgreens store in Washington, DC:
· Walgreens 4225 Connecticut Ave., NW, Thursday, June 27, and Friday, June 28, 3:00-7:00 pm; Saturday, June 29, 9:00 am-2:00 pm
· Walgreens 1217 22nd St., NW, Thursday, June 27, and Friday, June 28, 3:00-7:00 pm; Saturday, June 29, 9:00 am-2:00 pm
In addition, WWH will provide free HIV testing at both of its sites and on Capitol Hill on National HIV Testing Day June 27:
· Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center,170114TH St., NW, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
· Max Robinson Center, 2301 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., SE, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm.
· Capitol Hill, NW, New Jersey Ave. and C Street, NW, 3:30 – 6:30 pm.
State and local health departments and AIDS service organizations are coordinating the testing and providing results on-site at participating Walgreens locations, as well as supporting outreach. Testing locations include nearly 175 Walgreens stores in 54 cities across 22 states. Hundreds of additional Walgreens stores in the participating communities will help publicize the free testing through in-store marketing and other programs. Walgreens will also help promote National HIV Testing Day with special messages on June 27 on its Times Square digital display in New York City, the largest billboard of its kind in the country.
“HIV is an epidemic in Washington, DC,” said Dr. Raymond C. Martins, Chief Medical Officer at Whitman-Walker Health. “A number of people do not think they are at risk for acquiring HIV which prevents a lot of people from getting tested. One of the most important things you can do for your health and the health of the community is to get tested for HIV. We are fortunate that in the DC area, there is great access to care and medication for those found to have HIV. For all these reasons, the importance of getting everyone in the District of Columbia tested is evident. This collaboration with Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS will allow us to inform new audiences of the importance of getting tested, knowing your HIV status, and taking care of your health.”
This marks the third consecutive year Walgreens has teamed with Greater Than AIDS and local organizations to help bring free HIV testing to communities. This year, more than three times the number of stores and testing partners are participating compared to 2012.
Free HIV testing will also be available at select Walgreens locations across the country. For more information, including a complete list of participating Walgreens locations, visit www.greaterthan.org/walgreens.
“Access to testing, education and care are critical when it comes to the treatment and prevention of this complex condition,” said Glen Pietrandoni, senior manager of virology at Walgreens. “We have supported people living with HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic more than 30 years ago and will continue to be a trusted resource. Through this significant collaboration, we can help even more people get, stay and live well.”
Of the more than 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S. today, an estimated one in five, or nearly a quarter of a million people, do not know it. One third of those who are positive are diagnosed so late in the course of their infection they develop AIDS within one year. Early diagnosis and treatment saves lives and is known to reduce the spread of HIV. The CDC encourages everyone to know their status.
“Frequent testing is the first step towards early treatment and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS,” said Tina Hoff, Senior Vice President and Director of Health Communication and Media Partnerships, Kaiser Family Foundation, a founding partner of Greater Than AIDS. “Greater than AIDS is pleased to once again mark National HIV Testing Day by collaborating with Walgreens and local and state governments to broaden access to HIV tests for people in many of the nation’s hardest-hit communities.”
Throughout the year, Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS distribute HIV informational resources at 700 Walgreens pharmacies in heavily affected communities. Designated by Walgreens as “Centers of Excellence,” these stores have pharmacists on hand to offer one-on-one medication counseling and other support services that provide customers living with HIV/AIDS – and their families – with compassionate, confidential care.