Damien Center teaming up with Walgreens for National HIV Testing day

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INDIANAPOLIS (June 18, 2015) – In lead up to National HIV Testing day on June 27, The Damien Center is teaming with Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS, a leading national public information response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic, to encourage community members to know their HIV status and take advantage of free HIV testing at select Walgreens locations in Indianapolis during a three-day period:

  • Thursday, June 25 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Friday, June 26 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Damien Center will provide trained counselors to conduct the testing and will provide results on-site within minutes. In addition to on-site testing at its Joseph F. Miller Testing Center at 26 N. Arsenal Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46201, The Center will offer free tests at the following Walgreens Indianapolis locations:

  • 3003 Kessler Blvd North Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46222
  • 3205 E. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46201
  • 7506 N. Shadeland Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46250
  • 1530 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202
  • 3545 W. 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46268
  • 342 Massachusetts Avenue, #103, Indianapolis, IN 46204

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that all Americans be screened for HIV as a routine part of medical care, many Americans have never been tested or are not being tested as often as recommended, according to national surveys by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Of the more than 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S., an estimated one in seven do not know that they are infected and only three in 10 are in ongoing care and treatment.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, more than 10,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Indiana, half of whom reside in Central Indiana. Most people living with HIV/AIDS in Indiana are concentrated in the urban areas of the state, however rural areas have also been affected.

‘We have reached a historic turning point in our fight to stop the spread of HIV, and with the information gathered through decades of treating individuals who are HIV+ and working to prevent new infections, a plan is now in place to end HIV,’ said Jeremy Turner, The Damien Center`s Director of Supportive Service. ‘To make this plan a reality, every person must know their HIV status, and high-quality HIV services need to be accessible to everyone infected with the virus. The Damien Center is committed to delivering quality services to those living with HIV as well as populations at highest risk for infection. During our National HIV Testing Day events, I encourage everyone not aware of their status to visit one of our many outreach locations and take the 20-minute test. Be an active participant in ending HIV by knowing your status!’

‘Walgreens is committed to being a part of the solution to end AIDS, and National HIV Testing Day provides a great opportunity to help share critical health information and encourage HIV testing,’ said Glen Pietrandoni, senior director of virology, specialty products and services at Walgreens. ‘Working in collaboration with Greater Than AIDS and various community partners during the past four years, we have helped nearly 20,000 people across the country access free testing. We are pleased to be able to continue to help make it easier for those in the communities that we serve to know their status.’

‘We have come so far in our understanding of HIV,’ said Tina Hoff, senior vice president and director of health communication and media partnerships at the Kaiser Family Foundation. ‘Today, there are very effective treatments that not only help people with HIV to enjoy long, healthy lives but also significantly reduce the chances of passing the virus to others.3 Knowing one`s status is a crucial first step.’

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