Department of Health, Walgreens offer free HIV testing

healthcareGetting an HIV test just got easier. The Virginia Department of Health and Walgreens recently announced a collaborative effort to  offer  rapid HIV testing at no charge through 2016 at select Walgreens locations throughout the Commonwealth.

Tests are administered by Walgreens pharmacists in private consultation rooms and are available daily with no appointment necessary. Test results1 can be provided in as little as one minute. Walgreens pharmacists are specially trained to provide counseling and support services to those who need assistance, and will help connect patients to local resources to confirm results and provide subsequent care.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six individuals living with HIV is unaware of their status.

“There are many reasons people do not get screened for HIV, or do not return to find out the results of their screenings,” said State Health Commissioner Marissa J. Levine, MD, MPH, FAAFP.  “Together with Walgreens, we want to reduce those reasons by making it convenient for people to get screened, get results within minutes and get access to care if necessary.”

“At Walgreens we are committed to helping people living with HIV improve their quality of life and that begins with access to testing services and care,” said Glen Pietrandoni, Walgreens senior director of virology.  “Working with VDH, we are pleased to help empower customers to know their status and take control of their health. Our specially-trained pharmacists can provide a safe, confidential environment for testing and ongoing health and wellness guidance for people living with HIV.”

This project is an expansion of a between VDH and Walgreens that began last year on National HIV Testing Day. Community organizations provided screenings at participating stores using private and confidential spaces inside the stores, as well as mobile testing units.

”It takes all of us—public health, the private sector and community based organizations—working together to overcome the toughest of health challenges,” said Levine. “National HIV Testing Day is a reminder for people to get tested; but with this ongoing commitment from Walgreens, testing is convenient and fast all year long in communities across Virginia.”

To find the nearest Walgreens offering HIV testing services, consumers can visit www.greaterthan.org/virginia. For more information about HIV/AIDS and locations for confidential testing, contact the Disease Prevention Hotline toll-free at(800) 533-4148.

1. Confirmatory testing for a positive result may be required.

 
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