Free HIV Testing, Targeted HIV/AIDS Resources at Walgreens Stores in Heavily Affected Areas
June 21, 2011 - Walgreens is teaming up with Greater Than AIDS, a national campaign in response
to HIV/AIDS in the United States, to distribute informational resources and specialized HIV-related services at more than 300
Walgreens pharmacies in heavily affected communities. At these specialized pharmacy locations, Walgreens has pharmacists
on hand to offer one-on-one medication counseling and other support services that provide customers living with
HIV/AIDS -- and their families -- with compassionate, confidential care. Free rapid oral HIV testing will
also be available at select Walgreens locations from June 22 to 24, 2011, with technical support and
guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and test
kits from OraSure Technologies. State and local health departments
and community-based organizations in the local markets are conducting the tests
and providing pre- and post-test counseling.
According to the CDC, more than one million Americans are living with HIV today, yet 1 in 5 of those infected don't know their
status. And, one-third are diagnosed so late in the course of their infection that they develop AIDS within one year. The CDC
encourages all Americans to get tested.
"Despite overwhelming evidence that early diagnosis and treatment play an important role both in the health of those who are
positive and in reducing the spread of HIV, many Americans at highest risk for infection still have not been tested," said
Tina Hoff, Senior Vice President and Director of Health Communication and Media Partnerships at the Kaiser Family
Foundation, a co-founding partner of Greater Than AIDS. "The commitment by Walgreens to bring HIV information
and testing into the pharmacy setting helps to reduce the stigma associated with HIV and make testing more
accessible for those who may not have access to traditional healthcare settings."
"Access to testing, education and care are critical when it comes to the treatment and prevention of this complex condition," said
Walgreens Manager of Specialized Disease State Programs Glen Pietrandoni. "This month marks 30 years since the first case of AIDS
and ever since, Walgreens has been a trusted resource. As a pharmacy focused on meeting our customers' health and daily living
needs, Walgreens is committed to providing services and support in communities highly impacted by HIV."
Additionally, EBONY, a publication of Johnson Publishing Company, Inc., has partnered with Greater Than AIDS
and Walgreens to produce a special Be Greater Than AIDS informational guide to be distributed in 1.6 million copies of the
July issue of the magazine, reaching an estimated 11 million readers. One million additional copies of the guide, which
includes information about HIV testing and tips for talking with partners and health care providers, will be
distributed free in select Walgreens stores and by AIDS service organizations and other community groups.
EBONY also supports Greater Than AIDS with ongoing PSA placements and special editorial content on HIV/AIDS.
"We are determined to increase awareness and reduce the spread of HIV in the black community," said Amy DuBois Barnett,
Editor-in-Chief, EBONY magazine. "As the magazine with the furthest reach in black America, we at EBONY believe it is
our responsibility to address the fact that more than half of the approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV
in the United States today are black Americans by empowering our community with the information and tools
necessary to protect their health. We hope the 'Being Greater than AIDS' guide will help to achieve that goal."
"We have the tools to end the AIDS epidemic as we know it. We know how to diagnose those who are infected, identify the
communities most heavily affected, prevent transmission, and prevent acquisition of the virus. Dramatically expanding
HIV testing and linkages to care is a critical step toward that end," said Phill Wilson, President and CEO of the
Black AIDS Institute, a co-founding partner of Greater Than AIDS. "The Black AIDS Institute is proud to partner
with Walgreens, Johnson Publishing Company, and the Kaiser Family Foundation to raise awareness and expand
access to HIV testing in our communities."
A new national survey released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates Americans, and especially black Americans who are
among those at highest risk for HIV, want to know more about HIV testing, including who should get tested (42% overall, 63% black
Americans) and where to go to get tested (38% overall, 58% black Americans).
The Walgreens/ Greater Than AIDS partnership includes:
- WALGREENS "TAKE ACTION" CAMPAIGN : Starting this month, more than 300 specialized Walgreens
locations in highly impacted neighborhoods will place co-branded Greater Than AIDS signage and other informational products
to open up the dialogue about HIV/AIDS and encourage customers to get tested. In addition to the in-store messages and
materials, Walgreens has placed targeted ads featuring a Greater Than AIDS message in OUT, The Advocate, MetroSource,
and LOGO TV.
- FREE HIV TESTING : In the lead-up to National HIV Testing Day (June 27), select Walgreens locations
in major markets will offer free testing as part of the partnership with Greater Than AIDS and in coordination with the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), OraSure Technologies, the National Association of People with
AIDS (NAPWA), state and local health departments, and AIDS service organizations. Testing events will take place
Wednesday, June 22 to Friday, June 24 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. local time inside select Walgreens retail locations
in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, New Orleans, Oakland and San Francisco. For
a complete list of participating stores, visit: www.greaterthan.org/walgreens .
- EXPANDED ONLINE CONTENT : Together with Greater Than AIDS , Walgreens has expanded its online
informational content related to HIV and AIDS. The expanded site ( www.greaterthan.org/walgreens ) also
offers a testing center locator, tools and resources for community groups to get involved in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and other content for people who are seeking basic information about the disease.
About Greater Than AIDS
Greater Than AIDS is a collaboration among a broad coalition of public and private sector partners united in response to the
HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States, in particular among Black Americans and other disproportionately affected groups.
Through a national media campaign and targeted community outreach, Greater Than AIDS aims to increase knowledge and
understanding about HIV/AIDS and confront the stigma surrounding the disease.
The Kaiser Family Foundation -- a non-profit private operating foundation dedicated to producing and
communicating the best possible information, research and analysis on health issues -- provides strategic direction
and day-to-day management, as well as oversees the production of the media campaign. The Black AIDS Institute -- a
think tank exclusively focused on AIDS in Black America -- provides leadership and expert guidance and directs
community engagement. Greater Than AIDS is developed in support of Act Against AIDS, an effort by the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to refocus attention on the domestic epidemic.
Additional, financial and substantive support is provided by the Elton John AIDS Foundation,
Ford Foundation and MAC AIDS Fund, among others. http://www.kff.org
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2010 sales of $67 billion. The company
operates 7,714 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly
6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective
pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy
services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory
services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers,
managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector.
Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most
comprehensive manager of worksite health centers and in-store convenient care
clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.
KFF, Rakesh Singh, (650) 854-9400
Walgreens, Vivika Vergara, (847) 315-2923
EBONY, Alex Rosenfield, (917) 363-6571