Walgreens, Greater Than AIDS to Partner with Health Organizations to Offer Free HIV Testing

On National HIV Testing Day, which takes place on June 27, Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS will team up with over 200 health and community organizations to provide free HIV testing and information at Walgreens stores in over 180 cities.

Participating stores will provide free, confidential, and fast test results on site, without the need for an appointment. Counselors will be available at the stores to answer questions regarding prevention and treatment methods, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis.

Early testing is crucial for early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and, subsequently, better management of the virus. Initiation of ART within 30 days of HIV diagnosis is associated with a significantly reduced risk of treatment dropout and treatment failure. As neurological damage begins early after HIV infection, particularly while untreated, early initiation of ART is also associated with preventing HIV-related brain damage or halting further deterioration.

“Early testing can mean access to effective treatment and the opportunity to go on to live a health normal lifespan,” said Glen Pietrandoni, senior director, patient care and advocacy, Walgreens, in a press release 
from the company. “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.”

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