It's National HIV Testing Day
Today Walgreens launches a two year partnership with the CDC during which the pharmacy giant will offer free onsite confidential HIV testing at two dozen (mostly) urban locations.
"The goal of having the project at a pharmacy or at a retail clinic is really because of the ease of accessibility and the closeness to people's homes," Paul Weidle with the CDC explained. The partnership also hopes to help eliminate the stigma. Sarah Freedman, the pharmacy manager at the Walgreens in Foggy Bottom, said, "When you come into a pharmacy to get the test, other people don't know if your getting your blood pressure checked, are you picking up medicine. Where as with an HIV bus, everyone knows exactly what you're doing there." Despite testing advancements, more than 200,000 people nationwide don't know they're living with HIV. Freedman added, "We need to find these people and get them into treatment as quickly as possible and this is a great way to do it." The test uses an oral swab, dipped in solution. Patients can get results in less than 20 minutes.Enter your zip code on this CDC site to find the closest HIV testing location near you.