DEERFIELD, Ill. — Beginning April 25, Walgreens Healthcare Clinic locations in 18 markets will offer testing services for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, Hepatitis B and C, chlamydia and gonorrhea.
“Offering these new services in our Healthcare Clinics demonstrates our ongoing commitment to improving the comprehensive health and wellbeing of our patients,” Pat Carroll, chief medical officer for Walgreens Healthcare Clinics, said. “We’re proud to introduce the testing services during STD Awareness Month in April, and support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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.”
As part of the services, which will be offered in Cincinnati; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Kansas City; Knoxville, Tenn.; Las Vegas; Louisville, Ky.; Memphis, Tenn.; Nashville, Tenn.; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Tucson, Ariz.; Washington D.C.; and Wichita, Kan. Healthcare Clinic providers – nurse practitioners and physician assistants will first conduct a consultation with the patient and, as applicable, conduct the STI testing process. The method of testing varies based on the type of condition being assessed.
The STI testing service cost ranges from $89-$129, though additional lab charges may apply And most insurance plans are accepted. Healthcare Clinic providers can offer treatment or a referral to a specialist, as needed.
In addition to STI testing, Walgreens is also furthering its commitment to supporting communities impacted by HIV through prevention and early detection services. On April 25, providers at Walgreens Healthcare Clinics in the Houston area, can begin prescribing PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a medication protocol for people who don’t have HIV to help proactively protect against HIV infection. When taken daily as directed and used consistently, PrEP can reduce the risk of HIV infection by more than 90%.
Following an initial PrEP consultation with a patient, Healthcare Clinic providers will be able to conduct tests for HIV and other STIs, as needed. Upon review of test results, providers will conduct a follow-up visit and may prescribe PrEP, as necessary.
“With our long history of working with the HIV/AIDS community, we are as committed as ever to the ongoing, incredible advancement in HIV testing, prevention and treatment that has occurred over the last decade, and to providing greater access to high-quality testing and prevention services through the clinics and our pharmacies,” said Glen Pietrandoni, Walgreens senior director, virology disease state.
Also, as part of this commitment, Walgreens pharmacy staff and store managers chain-wide will be completing HIV continuing education training courses. The curriculum includes a Walgreens-developed HIV stigma course as well as a HIV prevention course developed by Walgreens in collaboration with the National Alliance of HIV Education and Workforce Development. The educational training also includes tools for improving adherence to PrEP.
“With this training, our pharmacy staff will be even more equipped to offer one-on-one medication counseling and other support services that provide our patients living with HIV/AIDS and their families, as well as those at risk for HIV, with compassionate, confidential care,” Pietrandoni said.
Walgreens also collaborates with health departments and local AIDS service organizations to help provide free HIV testing as part of an ongoing effort to broaden the reach of HIV information and testing in non-traditional settings and to support local organizations’ outreach efforts.