Walgreens partnership brings free HIV tests to stores for annual testing day

Walgreens, in partnership with Greater Than AIDS, will mark National HIV Testing Day by offering free HIV testing at select stores in more than 260 cities on June 27. The companies noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics show that 1-in-7 patients 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 of patient care and advocacy at Walgreens. “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 the free HIV testing on site, the events will include counselors from local agencies, who will answer patient questions about prevention and treatment options, including pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, without an appointment. PrEP offers a way to protect against HIV infection through a daily pill. A recent survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, which runs Greater Than AIDS, found that less than half of Americans know about PrEP, and many understate the health and preventive benefits of HIV treatment.

“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 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.”

The partnership between Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS has been ongoing since 2011, during which time they have provided more than 48,000 free HIV tests. Companies contributing test kits for the event include BioLytical Labs, Chembio Diagnostics and OraSure Technologies. Abbott Rapid Diagnostics is providing outreach for this year's event.

The full list of participating stores can be found by clicking here.