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National HIV Testing Day Brings Free Screenings to Several Chicago Walgreens

6/20/2018, noon | Updated on 6/20/2018, noon
Once again Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS, a leading national public information response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic, have teamed ...
Once again, Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS have teamed up to take action on National HIV Testing Day. On June 27th from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Walgreens location all over the country will offer free HIV testing and information including two locations in Chatham. Photo: Walgreens

National HIV Testing Day Brings Free Screenings to Several Chicago Walgreens

BY KATHERINE NEWMAN

Once again Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS, a leading national public information response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic, have teamed up to take action on National HIV Testing Day. On June 27th from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Walgreens

locations all over the country will offer free HIV testing and information including two locations in Chatham.

Thanks to Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS, community members can go to either Walgreens locations, 8628 S. Cottage Grove Ave. or 11 E. 75th St., for

free testing, fast results, and on the spot consultation.

“Offering free testing at Walgreens locations is an important step toward tackling the HIV epidemic in cities like Chicago. By making HIV testing and prevention information more widely available in communities across the country, we are working to ensure that more people have the opportunity to know their HIV status.

Testing can be the first step to accessing effective treatment for those testing positive, which can support good health and a near-normal lifespan,” said Glen

Pietrandoni, senior director of patient care and advocacy for Walgreens. “For

those testing negative, our pharmacists can help raise awareness of prevention

methods including PrEP, a medication when taken with proper adherence, can

prevent new infections.”

The HIV Testing Day partnership also extends to local organizations working to end the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Beyond Care Inc. will be operating HIV testing at the two Chatham locations

and provide free testing, on-site results, counseling, and information about PrEP

Beyond Care, Inc. is a long-standing community partner of Greater Than

AIDS and Walgreens HIV testing initiatives.

“Free HIV testing reduces the stigma

which causes our communities to believe if we don’t talk about it, it will go away. And most importantly, it allows people who are newly detected positives who may have

gone undetected for years to be connected to the vast resources of care and counseling that are available from the thousands of professionals who volunteer for this initiative every year across the country to show the world that together we

are truly Greater Than AIDS,” said Carlos Meyers, executive director of Beyond Care Inc.

Between 2011 and 2016 African Americans made up 44 percent of new HIV diagnoses nationally and in Chicago, half of the new diagnoses during that time period were black men, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States and about one in seven are undiagnosed.

For these reasons, plus many more, free testing in under-resourced communities has become the backbone of eliminating HIV and AIDS in Chicago and across the

country.

“Walgreens has supported people living with HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic more than 30 years ago,” Walgreens said in a written statement. “We are deeply committed to building healthier communities and we take the health and safety of our neighbors personally.”

To find a free testing location near you visit www.greaterthan.org/

walgreens.