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VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, WALGREENS AND GREATER THAN AIDS TEAM UP
TO PROVIDE FREE HIV TESTING IN SUPPORT OF NATIONAL HIV TESTING DAY
HIV Testing Events at Select Walgreens Locations in the Commonwealth
June 27 – 28, 3 – 7pm, and June 29, 9am – 2pm
(Richmond, Va.)—The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is teaming up with Walgreens, the nation’s largest pharmacy chain, and Greater Than AIDS, a coalition of public and private sector partners, to provide FREE HIV testing at 13 Walgreens stores across Virginia. The testing events are taking place June 27-29 in support of National HIV Testing Day.
“Collaborating with Walgreens, and other community partners, allows us to ensure that accurate HIV testing information and services are available to as many people as possible,” said State Health Commissioner Cynthia C. Romero, MD, FAAFP. “From 2008 to 2012, 4,931 cases of HIV disease were diagnosed in Virginia. The burden of HIV disease continues to have a disproportionate impact on certain populations, particularly racial and ethnic minorities.”
Of the more than 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S. today, an estimated one in five or nearly a quarter of a million, 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 saves lives and is known to reduce the spread of HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages everyone to know their status.
“Access to testing, education and care are critical when it comes to the treatment and prevention of this complex condition,” said Glen Pietrandoni, senior manager of virology at Walgreens. “We have supported people living with HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic more than 30 years ago and will continue to be a trusted resource. Through this significant collaboration, we can help even more people get, stay and live well.”
Community Partners include Access AIDS Care, AIDS/HIV Services Group, Council of Community Services, Fan Free Clinic, Fredericksburg HIV/AIDS Support Services, Horizon Behavior Health, Lynchburg Health Department, Minority Health Consortium and NovaSalud. This is the first year VDH and local organizations have teamed with Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS to help expand free HIV testing to communities.
Nationwide, 22 states, including Virginia, 54 cities and approximately 175 Walgreens stores are partnering to offer free HIV testing in recognition of National HIV Testing Day. Walgreens will also promote special messages on June 27 on its Times Square digital display in New York City, the largest billboard of its kind in the country.
“Frequent testing is the first step towards early treatment and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS,” said Tina Hoff, Senior vice president and director of Health Communication and Media Partnerships, Kaiser Family Foundation, a founding partner of Greater Than AIDS. “Greater than AIDS is pleased to once again mark National HIV Testing Day by collaborating with Walgreens and local and state governments to broaden access to HIV tests for people in many of the nation’s hardest-hit communities.”
In addition to this special event, VDH offers free confidential testing year-round. To learn more about HIV or where to get a FREE HIV test, call the Disease Prevention Hotline at 1-800-533-4148.
Participating Walgreens Locations in Virginia
1500 Piney Forest Rd.
Danville VA 24540-1706
2004 Wards Rd.
Lynchburg, VA 24502-5310
4841 Williamson Rd., N.W.
Roanoke, VA 24012-2331
3965 Holland Rd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23452-2804
700 Frederick Blvd.
Portsmouth, VA 23707-3314
115 W. Little Creek Rd.
Norfolk, VA 23505-2512
810 W. 21st St
Norfolk, VA 23517-1514
5122 Hull Street Rd.
Richmond VA 23224-2422
3715 Mechanicsville Tpke.
Richmond, VA 23223-1331
3520 Ellwood Ave.
Richmond, VA 23221-2723
6717 Richmond Hwy.
Alexandria, VA 22306-6704
3050A Nutley St.
Fairfax, VA 22031-1924
761 E. Main St.
Purcellville, VA 20132-3178
Kaiser Family Foundation
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report, 2010; vol. 22. March 2012. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/reports/. Accessed May 30, 2013.