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The pharmacy chain is offering free testing in partnership with Greater than AIDS
On June 27, National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), Walgreens will offer free HIV testing in 260 cities.
While HIV testing is recommended as part of routine healthcare, the CDC estimates that one in seven people with HIV are unaware of their status.
“Walgreens continues to support HIV testing since it is a critical first step in developing effective prevention and care strategies, regardless of status,” said Glen Pietrandoni, senior director, patient care and advocacy, Walgreens in a release. “With more than 3,000 HIV-trained Walgreens pharmacists in communities across the nation, we can uniquely support HIV testing, education and care, working towards an end to HIV/AIDS.”
In addition to offering on-site free and fast HIV testing, counselors from local agencies will answer questions about HIV prevention and treatment options, including PrEP. No appointment is required.
New treatments like antiretroviral (ARV) medications to prevent HIV transmission, as well as PrEP, a daily pill to protect against HIV, can help in the fight to end HIV. The White House and many states have set ambitious goals of significantly reducing HIV infections over the next decade.
“Public knowledge has not always kept up with the science,” said Tina Hoff, Senior Vice President and Director of Health Communications and Media Partnerships at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). “Public-private partnerships like this help to close the knowledge gaps about HIV and connect people with services in their communities to get the care they need.”
According to a recent survey by KFF, which runs Greater Than AIDS, less than 50% Americans know about PrEP, and many downplay the benefits of treatment.
Since the annual event began in 2011, over 48,000 free HIV tests have been given.