Whitman-Walker and Walgreens Join for HIV Testing

Retail chain partners with local health center for National HIV Testing Day initiative

Whitman-Walker Health, the local nonprofit community health center that specializes in LGBT care and HIV/AIDS, will be providing free rapid HIV testing for three days at a local Walgreens store as part of National HIV Testing Day.

Whitman-Walker will offer the tests to interested individuals at the Walgreens store at 4225 Connecticut Ave. NW from 3 to 7 p.m., June 27 to 29. The rapid HIV test takes about 20 to 40 minutes to administer and process.

In total, 47 Walgreens stores will offer testing in 20 cities across the country. Walgreens will also promote National HIV Testing Day with special messages on its Times Square digital display in New York.

The testing effort is part of a collaboration between Walgreens and Greater than AIDS, a coalition of public and private-sector partners that seek to increase knowledge of HIV/AIDS, counter the stigma associated with the disease, and foster prevention efforts. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Act Against AIDS initiative and the National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS, which sponsors National HIV Testing Day, are also supporting the effort.

In addition to the Walgreens testing, Whitman-Walker will be offering free walk-in testing at its Max Robinson Center, 2301 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and at its Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center, 1701 14th St. NW, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., on June 27.

”One in 20 adults in D.C. has HIV,” Whitman-Walker Health Executive Director Don Blanchon said in a statement announcing the testing initiative. ”Nine out of every 10 cases of HIV/AIDs in D.C. is among African-Americans. One in seven gay or bisexual men in D.C. has HIV and that number drops to one in every three black gay or bisexual men in D.C. With numbers like these, the importance of getting everyone in the District of Columbia tested is evident. This partnership with Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS will allow us to inform new audiences of the importance of getting tested, knowing your HIV status, and taking care of your health.”

For more information about the initiative locally, contact Whitman-Walker Health at 202-745-7000 or online at whitman-walker.org.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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