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Duane Reade teams up with GMHC to provide HIV testing

BY Adam Kraemer

NEW YORK Duane Reade announced on Monday a partnership with the Gay Men’s Health Crisis to offer free HIV/AIDS testing at select locations.

GMHC’s mobile testing units have been stationed outside select Duane Reade locations since May, offering free, confidential on-the-spot tests and counseling.

“As New York’s leading drug store, we strive to provide affordable and convenient services that aid in improving the health and overall wellbeing of New Yorkers,” said John Lederer, chairman and chief executive officer of Duane Reade. “We are excited about this partnership with GMHC and we look forward to increasing awareness and offering opportunities for HIV testing in communities throughout New York City.”

While appointments are not necessary, CMHC recommends calling their hotline at 800-243-7692 to get a schedule of times and locations.

“We know that fear and the stigma of HIV and AIDS continues to keep people from getting tested and accessing care,” said Marjorie Hill, chief executive officer of Gay Men’s Health Crisis. “Having a trusted family friend like Duane Reade as a partner helps us to break through the barriers associated with HIV testing.”

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GNC athletes featured at Rite Aid Health and Beauty Expo

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH Rite Aid’s partnership with specialty retailer GNC is expected to take a new twist as Rite Aid featured several GNC athletes at the Rite Aid Health and Beauty Expo in Atlanta this past weekend.

The GNC athletes on hand for the Rite Aid event included bodybuilder Chad Gregory and professional fitness and figure competitors Allison Frahn and Tina Durkin.

Other celebrities on hand at the Expo included fitness expert Denise Austin, basketball champion Dominique Wilkins, Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney and Tae Bo expert Billy Blanks.

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Rite Aid to issue new bonds in move to add $300 million in liquidity

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid last week announced plans to issue new debt in an effort to refinance $710 million in existing bonds, a move that should lift any pressure from near-term liquidity concerns and allow the company to focus more readily on long-term earnings objectives, Meredith Adler, Lehman Bros. analyst, noted in a research note released Thursday.

The new debt, though at a higher cost, allows Rite Aid to add approximately $300 million in additional liquidity, Adler wrote.

“We believe the reduced risk exposure to equity holders more than offsets the added cost,” she added. “Today’s [monthly] sales results also reinforce our confidence in the outlook for the business and we expect coming data points to support the stock.”

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