NEW YORK– August 13, 2012.
Five years ago, AID FOR AIDS International and BioScrip, Inc. established a working relationship that has evolved into one of the most significant efforts to increase access to HIV medication for people in developing countries. In addition to providing medication for those with no prior access to treatment, the joint efforts also targeted the expansion of HIV testing for most-at-risk populations in New York City. Now that BioScrip is a part of the Walgreens family under the name “Community – A Walgreens Pharmacy,” the collaborative work of both entities continues as AID FOR AIDS International (AFAI) and Walgreens work together to strengthen the long-standing relationship.
Through its previous work with BioScrip, AFAI established nine drop-off boxes for its HIV Medication Recycling Program in select locations including: Chelsea, the Bronx and Hawthorne in New York; Philadelphia, PA; Washington, DC, Baltimore, MA; Atlanta, GA; and Minneapolis; MN. AFAI collects unused and unexpired medicines in the U.S. and redistributes them to people living with HIV in developing countries through the Recycling Program. Since 1996, AFAI has redistributed more than $85 million dollars worth of antiretroviral medications to more than 12,000 needy recipients in 39 countries through the HIV Medication Recycling program. Individuals, rather than clinics or organizations, are responsible for more than 80 percent of all donations received, and the drop-off boxes at “Community – A Walgreens Pharmacy” have become a key source for these donations. As part of the collaboration, the former BioScrip locations provided the drop-off boxes, promoted the program to clients and alerted AFAI when new donations arrived.
Earlier this year, BioScrip initiated the prevention component of the program. Recognizing AFAI’s expertise, BioScrip facilitated rapid HIV testing and outreach services at its Chelsea location in New York City. This newer initiative proved to be an immediate success and continues to be available four days per week at Community – A Walgreens Pharmacy.
Walgreens has pledged to continue to support the drop-off program and continue BioScrip’s impactful relationship with AFAI through the “Community – A Walgreens Pharmacy” locations. AID FOR AIDS International looks forward to a continued relationship that will help those in the U.S. and internationally for years to come.