DEERFIELD, Ill. _ Walgreens is teaming up with Greater Than HIV, a public information initiative of KFF, along with health departments and community organizations, to provide free HIV testing and counseling as part of the largest National HIV Testing Day event yet. Hundreds of local health departments and community organizations will be at more than 400 Walgreens stores offering free, confidential and fast HIV test results.
“This unique community-led effort brings people together in a familiar setting to receive a free HIV test, get the latest on HIV prevention and treatment and connect with local services,” said Tina Hoff, senior vice president of KFF. “Our Greater Than HIV and Walgreens National HIV Community Partnership provides a great opportunity to help people know their HIV status and take action to protect their health.”
Click here for a list of participating Walgreens stores and hours to get a free HIV test on Tuesday, June 27. Counselors will be available to answer questions about HIV prevention and treatment options, and provide referrals for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), FDA-approved medications that are highly effective in preventing HIV.
HIV test manufacturers, Abbott, BioLytical Laboratories, Inc., Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. and OraSure Technologies, Inc., donated rapid tests to support the activation.
“Each year on National HIV Testing Day, Walgreens teams up with Greater Than HIV, KFF’s public information initiative, and community partners to provide free and confidential HIV testing and counseling at hundreds of Walgreens locations, especially in areas disproportionately impacted by HIV,” said Walgreens chief pharmacy officer Rick Gates. “This program builds on our local and national initiatives to reach people in community-settings so that HIV prevention and treatment options are more equitable, accessible and convenient.”
KFF’s Greater Than HIV and Walgreens National HIV Community Partnership is an ongoing commitment to work with local health departments and community organizations to expand HIV testing and information through nontraditional settings. Since 2011, the partnership has provided more than 76,000 free HIV tests, including over 15,000 self-tests provided during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Walgreens is committed to expanding testing as a critical component in ending the HIV epidemic, helping to inform individuals if they should be linked to HIV treatment services or if they qualify for PrEP. All of these tools help to prevent further transmission of HIV.
In addition to providing services to help prevent and treat HIV, Walgreens invests in training its pharmacy team members to address the specific challenges faced by people living with HIV. More than 3,000 Walgreens pharmacists are specially trained to offer one-on-one, confidential and stigma-free HIV care including medication counseling, information on prevention options and how to apply for financial assistance programs.