In select cities across the country, Walgreens Healthcare Clinics are now offering testing for HIV, viral hepatitis and several sexually transmitted infections, according to a press release from the pharmacy chain.
The initiative — which was launched with support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the tail end of its STD Awareness Month programming — will offer customers a chance to get tested at specialty Walgreens Clinics in the following cities: Cincinnati; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Kansas City; Knoxville; Las Vegas; Louisville; Memphis; Nashville; Orlando; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Tucson; Washington, DC; and Wichita.
Each participating location will staff several nurse practitioners and physician assistants to conduct consultations, conduct STI testing and offer treatment or a referral to a specialist, as needed. In addition to testing, select Walgreens clinics will also be expanding their HIV prevention and early detection services as part of the program. In Houston, certain pharmacies will also begin prescribing Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) on-site for those hoping to prevent an HIV infection.
“Offering these new services on our Healthcare Clinics demonstrates our ongoing commitment to improving the comprehensive health and wellbeing of our patients,” said Pat Carroll, MD, chief medical officer for Walgreens Healthcare Clinics. “We’re proud to introduce the testing services during STD Awareness in April, and support the CDC in raising public awareness about the impact that STDs — the diseases that can develop from STIs — can have on the lives of Americans and the importance of testing and prevention.”
Also, as part of the initiative, Walgreens pharmacy staff and store managers chain-wide will be taking continuing education classes in HIV treatment and care, including specially-designed courses around HIV stigma, adherence and HIV prevention, thanks to the pharmacy’s recent collaboration with the National Alliance of HIV Education and Workforce Development.
Approximately 400 Walgreens stores currently offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services. Click here to check out which locations are currently offering HIV, hepatitis and STI testing.