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Walmart opens specialty centers for customers with HIV/AIDS

Walmart’s new specialty “centers” have pharmacy teams trained in HIV/Aids medications.

Walmart has renewed its commitment to help eradicate HIV/AIDS through education, access to testing and partnerships to raise awareness of available resources.

In an announcement on World Aids Day, Nov. 30, Walmart said it has launched a community-centered specialty pharmacy strategy, building centers of clinical excellence in specific diseases. The first three centers, referred to individually as “specialty pharmacy of the community,” provide customers with highly specialized pharmacy teams trained in HIV/AIDS medications, clinical services to recognize potential medication-related side effects and assistance to understand the unique needs of people living with HIV/AIDS.

The centers are located within the existing pharmacy of Walmart stores where the staff has been trained on specifics around HIV therapies, care and medications.  Two of the centers are located in Georgia, with one in Florida.

“For patients with HIV and populations at greatest risk, Walmart can play an important role in understanding each individual and the unique challenges they face, and our pharmacists play an important role in the treatment paradigm, especially for patients with HIV who may be on a complex medication regimen,” said Dr. John Wigneswaran, Walmart’s chief medical officer.We are dedicated to optimizing health by designing best-in-class clinical programs addressing each step of the patient’s health care journey.”

 Walmart and the Elton John AIDS Foundation announced in June that the organizations were working together to help accelerate the end of AIDS in America. On Dec. 1, the teams hosted testing events for the third time, joining forces with AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition to provide free HIV testing along with educational materials and resources during four parking lot testing events at Walmart locations in Atlanta. The events will focus on expanding access to testing in local communities.

In November, Walmart launched Elton John Eyewear, a line of stylish, accessible eyewear, at both Sam’s Club and Walmart locations. The launch of Elton John Eyewear furthers Walmart’s support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s mission. Walmart Inc. will donate a minimum of $1 million annually from the Elton John Eyewear collection to support the foundation to increase HIV education and awareness and encourage individuals to take the first steps toward a healthier future.

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