Per a recent news release from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS, a leading national public information response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic, are teaming up for the seventh straight year with health departments and local AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) to offer free HIV testing and counseling about prevention strategies, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), as part of a National HIV Testing Day effort.
Testing will be available at more than 220 participating Walgreens stores in 130 cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans and Memphis, among other cities, on June 27 and 28 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. (local time) both days. Results are provided on site by trained counselors.
“We know more about preventing and treating HIV than ever before,” said Tina Hoff, senior vice president and director, health communication and media partnerships, Kaiser Family Foundation, which directs Greater Than AIDS. “The first step is knowing your status. This collaboration normalizes HIV testing as part of everyday life, while educating communities about the latest advances.”
PrEP, a medication available by prescription, offers another effective means of protection for those without HIV. In addition, antiretrovirals, the medications used to treat HIV in addition to improving health, are now known to help stop the spread of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends HIV testing as part of routine health care.
“With early diagnosis and treatment, someone with HIV can live a healthy normal lifespan,” said Glen Pietrandoni, senior director of virology at Walgreens. “It’s very important to take control of your health by getting a test and learning your status. Results are provided within minutes, on-site by trained counselors.”
At all participating Walgreens locations, testing partners will provide informational guides about the benefits of early treatment and PrEP. More than 150,000 copies of the Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS-produced ‘I Got Tested: What’s Next’ guides, which are available in both English and Spanish, have been distributed since 2015. More information about PrEP is available at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/prep.html.
For a complete list of participating Walgreens locations and supporting partners, as well as additional information about HIV testing, including year-round testing sites, visit www.greaterthan.org/walgreens.