AIDS Foundation of Chicago Teams Up with Walgreens, Greater Than AIDS, CDC, and OraSure Technologies to Provide Free Rapid Oral HIV Tests in Lead Up to National HIV Testing Day
Tuesday, 21st June, 2011 – In the lead up to National HIV Testing Day (June 27th), the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC), together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and OraSure Technologies, is providing FREE screenings for HIV at three Walgreens retail locations in Chicago as part of an ongoing partnership between Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS, a national campaign to respond to HIV/AIDS in the United States.
Rapid oral HIV tests will be offered free of charge on a first come, first serve basis at the following local Walgreens locations in Chicago on Wednesday, June 22 through Friday, June 24, from 3pm – 7pm each day:
- 5435 South Kedzie Avenue (northeast corner of Kedzie & 55th)
Chicago, IL 60632
- 11 E. 75th Street (corner of 75th & State Streets)
Chicago, IL 60619
- 4720 North Marine Drive (southwest corner of Marine & Lakeside)
Chicago, IL 60640
Results will be provided within 20 minutes of screening.
AFC and its partner agencies that comprise the Bridge Project – Beyond Care Inc., Brothers Health Collective, and Making A Daily Effort (M.A.D.E.) – will coordinate testing at the Walgreens locations on the South Side; Howard Brown Health Center and Jackson Park Hospital will coordinate testing at the North Side Walgreens.
The South Side testing by the Bridge Project is also part of a local campaign called “Say Yes to The Test” that encourages Chicagoans to make HIV testing a routine part of their health care. According to the project, an estimated 30,000 Chicagoans are HIV-positive and many are unaware of their status. The Bridge Project is sponsored by HIV FOCUS, a program of Gilead Sciences.
According to the CDC, more than one million Americans are living with HIV today, yet 1 in 5 of those infected doesn’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.
“In the fight against HIV in Chicago and across the country, we need to increase testing frequency and ensure access to appropriate care and treatment,” said AFC Director of Prevention Cynthia Tucker. “This testing initiative is an example of the kind of collaborative effort that will get us one step closer to ending HIV/AIDS in every neighborhood.”
“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 comsmunities highly impacted by HIV.”
Additional free testing events are taking place across the nation at select Walgreens locations in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, New Orleans, Oakland and San Francisco. The national testing effort is being organized under the Greater Than AIDS campaign as part of a broader partnership to bring attention to HIV/AIDS. The CDC is providing technical support and guidance, while OraSure Technologies is donating free test kits. The National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS, the founding partner of National HIV Testing Day, is also a partner in the effort. For more information and a complete list of participating stores, visit: www.greaterthan.org/walgreens.
Throughout the year, Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS will distribute informational resources and specialized HIV-related services at more than 300 Walgreens pharmacies in heavily affected communities. Participating stores have 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. Expanded online resources include 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. www.greaterthan.org
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.
Walgreens 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.
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