The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have enlisted the help of Walgreen's and other urban and rural pharmacies to begin offering free HIV testing. The pilot program will include select Walgreen's facilities in Chicago and Washington D.C., as well as a Take Care Clinic in Lithonia, Georgia.
The testing, which is free, will be performed by trained pharmacists and nurse practitioners, who also will offer HIV counseling. On tests yielding positive results, the patient will be remitted to a local health care provider.
"Ensuring that all Americans know their HIV status is critical to reducing new infections," said Kevin Fenton, a CDC rep. "Collaborating with pharmacists and retail clinic staff to expand HIV testing into community pharmacies allows us to reach more Americans who are unaware of their infection and can ultimately reduce the toll of HIV on the nation."
The CDC has partnerships with four other pharmacies and plans on selecting 17 more sites by the end of summer. The pilot program is meant to develop a nationwide program for targeting at-risk areas for HIV testing.
by RTT Staff Writer
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