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Whitman-Walker Health Teams With Greater Than AIDS

6/19/2012, 9:48 p.m.

HIV Testing events 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., June 27-29

Beginning on National HIV Testing Day on June 27 and continuing through June 29, Whitman-Walker Health will provide free rapid HIV testing at one Walgreens store in D.C. daily. The rapid HIV test takes approximately 20 to 40 minutes to administer and process. Test results will be delivered by the local AIDS service organization providing the testing on site.

HIV testing is being provided by health departments and local AIDS service organizations at select Walgreens stores in 20 markets across the nation as part of an ongoing collaboration between Walgreens, the nation's largest drugstore chain, and Greater Than AIDS, a coalition of public and private sector partners united in response to the domestic epidemic.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Act Against AIDS initiative and the National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS, the official sponsor of National HIV Testing Day, also are supporting the effort.

Whitman-Walker Health will provide free HIV testing at the following Walgreens store in Washington, DC:

* Walgreens 4225 Connecticut Ave, NW

Free, walk in HIV testing will also be available at both Whitman-Walker Health facilities:

* Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center, 1701 14th St., NW, 9:00 am-6:00 pm, June 27

* Max Robinson Center, 2301 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, SE, 9:00 am-4:30 pm, June 27

Of the more than 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S. today, an estimated one in five, or nearly a quarter of a million people, do not know it. One-third of those who are positive are diagnosed so late in the course of their infection they develop AIDS within one year. Early diagnosis and treatment helps save lives and is known to reduce the spread of HIV. The CDC encourages everyone to know their status.

"One in 20 adults in DC has HIV," said Whitman-Walker Health Executive Director Don Blanchon. "Nine out of every 10 cases of HIV/AIDS in DC is among African-Americans. One in seven gay or bisexual men in DC has HIV and that number drops to one in every three Black gay or bisexual men in DC. With numbers like these, the importance of getting everyone in the District of Columbia tested is evident. This partnership with Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS will allow us to inform new audiences of the importance of getting tested, knowing your HIV status, and taking care of your health."

All totalled, 47 Walgreens stores in 20 markets across the nation are participating, including stores in the following cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Oakland, Calif., Philadelphia, San Francisco, St. Louis, Washington, D.C. and West Palm Beach, Fla.

An additional 138 Walgreens stores in the participating communities will help publicize the free testing provided by local health departments or AIDS service organizations through in-store messaging, including posters, post cards and in-store audio. Walgreens also will promote National HIV Testing Day with special messages on June 27 on its Times Square digital display, the largest billboard of its kind in the country.

"These testing events provide valuable and vital opportunities to help the communities we serve," said Glen Pietrandoni, Walgreens senior manager of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis. "Walgreens has supported people living with HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic through its ability to offer accessible pharmacy, health and wellness guidance to patients, wherever they live. Our pharmacists are developing relationships, listening to concerns and providing education and support."

This marks the second year in a row that Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS have coordinated with local health departments and AIDS service organizations to allow them to provide free HIV testing at select Walgreens stores. This year, more than twice the number of Walgreens stores and markets will participate. More than 50 participating health departments and AIDS service organizations are providing the testing and delivering results on site, as well as supporting outreach.

For more information, including participating Walgreens stores in each city, visit:

www.greaterthan.org/walgreens