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Testing at participating Walgreens supports ongoing commitment to community outreach on HIV

Local testing partners, Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS, a leading national public information response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic, are working with 220 health departments, AIDS service organizations, and other community organizations to help provide free HIV testing and information at participating Walgreens stores in more than 180 cities, including Atlanta, on National HIV Testing Day on Wednesday, June 27, between 10 am – 7 pm (local time).

Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS are helping the participating testing partners to expand the free HIV testing to even more locations this year with a focus on heavily affected communities. Since 2011, more than 40,000 HIV tests have been conducted as part of the activation. BioLytical Laboratories and OraSure Technologies, Inc. are donating test kits and Abbott Rapid Diagnostics is providing support for outreach.

Local agencies will be at participating Walgreens stores to provide free, confidential, and fast test results on site, without the need to schedule an appointment. Counselors will be on hand to answer questions about HIV prevention and treatment options, including PrEP, a medication that offers another effective means of protection for those testing negative for HIV.

Local testing partners will provide trained counselors to conduct the testing and will provide results on-site within minutes.

“Walgreens has supported people living with HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic more than 30 years ago,” said Glen Pietrandoni, senior director, patient care and advocacy, at Walgreens. “Early testing can mean access to effective treatment and the opportunity to go on to live a healthy normal lifespan. In addition, with proper adherence to medication, successfully treated patients cannot easily transmit the virus to others. As we continue to work towards an end to HIV/AIDS, it is crucial that testing and trusted resources on treatment are made more widely available within communities.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends HIV testing as part of routine health care. An estimated 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV and approximately 1 in 7 are unaware of their status.[i]

According to the CDC, as of year-end 2015, the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metropolitan area ranks 4th in the nation for the prevalence of HIV diagnosis, with more than 30,800 residents having been diagnosed.

“There are more options than ever to prevent and treat HIV,” said Tina Hoff, Senior Vice President and Director, Health Communications and Media Partnerships at the Kaiser Family Foundation, which leads Greater Than AIDS. “The first step is knowing your status. This collaboration normalizes HIV testing as part of everyday life, while helping to educate about these advances.”

The community partnership is part of an ongoing commitment by Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS to broaden the reach of HIV testing and information in non-traditional settings and to support the outreach of local organizations. Year round, HIV-trained pharmacy staff are available at more than 1,000 Walgreens locations nationwide, including communities with high HIV prevalence, offering one-on-one, confidential medication counseling to support treatment adherence, and assisting with other care needs, such as identifying financial assistance options.

For a complete list of participating Walgreens locations and supporting partners for this year’s National HIV Testing Day, as well as additional information about HIV testing, including year-round testing sites, visit http://www.greaterthan.org/walgreens.

About Walgreens

About Walgreens

Walgreens (walgreens.com), a provider of trusted care in communities since 1901, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. Approximately 8 million customers interact with Walgreens in stores and online each day, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. As of Aug. 31, 2017, Walgreens operates 8,100 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com. Approximately 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.

About Greater Than AIDS

Greater Than AIDS is a leading national public information response focused on the U.S. domestic HIV epidemic. While national in scope, Greater Than AIDS focuses on communities most affected. Through targeted media messages and community outreach, Greater Than AIDS and its partners works to increase knowledge, reduce stigma and promote actions to stem the spread of the disease.

About Kaiser Family Foundation

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a leader in health policy analysis, health journalism and communication, is dedicated to filling the need for trusted, independent information on the major health issues facing our nation and its people. The Foundation is a non-profit private operating foundation based in San Francisco, California.

HIV AIDS testing partners, Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS Team Up to heighten awareness in Atlanta was originally published on atlantadailyworld.com

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