Polk County Health Department, Walgreens and Greater than AIDS offer free HIV Testing
Nola Aigner, Public Information Officer, Polk County Health Department
(515) 286-3848/(515) 782-7236
Rakesh Singh, Kaiser Family Foundation
Markeisha Marshall, Walgreens
June 23, 2014 – The Polk County Health Department is teaming with Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain and Greater Than AIDS to offer free HIV testing at Walgreens (1330 E. University Avenue) in Des Moines on Friday, June 27 from 3:00 – 7:00 PM. The testing event is in support of National HIV Testing Day. Rapid HIV tests will be administered and individuals will receive their results within one to 20 minutes.
The Health Department is also working with other local community partners for this HIV testing event. Staff from the Polk County Health Department and The Project of Primary Health Care will be conducting tests while other partners from the Sexual Health Awareness Group in Polk County will help to provide education and promote awareness including Family Planning Council of Iowa, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, One Iowa, Polk County Crisis and Advocacy, Eyes Open Iowa and the Iowa Primary Care Association.
“Partnering with a visible member of the health community like Walgreens strengthens the importance of HIV testing,” said Rick Kozin, Director of Polk County Health Department. “We are also thankful that our other partners are providing Polk County residents education and awareness to reduce the spread of HIV.”
This marks the fourth consecutive year Walgreens has teamed with Greater Than AIDS and local organizations to help offer free HIV testing to communities. This year’s effort doubles the number of participating markets from last year.
Of the more than 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S., an estimated one in six do not know that they are infected and only one and four has their virus under control with treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment saves lives and is known to reduce the spread of HIV. Those with HIV who are on treatment and in care can reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others by as much as 96 percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages everyone to know their status.
Free HIV testing is available at select Walgreens locations across the country. For more information, including a complete list of participating Walgreens locations, visit www.greaterthan.org/walgreens.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Media are invited to attend. However, to ensure individuals’ confidentiality, please park your vehicle in the northwest corner behind Walgreens.
 CDC. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report, Vol. 18, No. 5; October 2013. Data are estimates and do not include U.S. dependent area.