Walgreens donated $50,000 to the CDC Foundation. The gift will bolster the foundation’s work with the federal initiative “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America,” according to a foundation press release.

The CDC Foundation is an independent nonprofit that collaborates with philanthropies, individuals and businesses to advance the work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (see the video below). This is the foundation’s first gift earmarked for the federal HIV plan.

The foundation will assist the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative by contributing to areas of need. According to the foundation, these include:

  •  Digital education strategy and campaign: developing a national strategy to reach people most at risk for HIV by using digital platforms and coordinating with state and local partners for maximum impact;

  •  Innovative models of community care: designing disruptive innovation that delivers comprehensive, evidence-based prevention, care and treatment services; and

  •  Rural access to care and treatment: providing high-impact and high-priority treatment and care in rural communities, utilizing readily accessible services and technologies, such as community-based pharmacies and telemedicine.

“We are excited to announce this lead gift from Walgreens, which we hope will serve as a catalytic donation to encourage others to step forward and support this critical initiative,” said Judith Monroe, MD, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation, in the press release. “We now have an opportunity to stop the epidemic in its tracks. We must seize this opportunity by working together across all sectors to meet this challenge.

“We are looking for other individuals and organizations to join with us to make what once seemed impossible, possible. We are actively seeking funding partners in support of this ambitious initiative to end the HIV epidemic in America by 2030.”

“Today,” added Glen Pietrandoni, senior director of patient care and advocacy at Walgreens, “with more than 3,000 HIV-trained pharmacists in communities across the nation who help patients with prevention and treatment, we’re proud to support this initiative to help eliminate the virus in this country.”

President Trump announced the federal HIV initiative in February. Its goal is to lower HIV rates nationwide by 75% in five years and by 90% in 10 years. One way it aims to meet this goal is by channeling federal resources to the 48 counties (plus Washington, DC, and San Juan, Puerto Rico) that account for more than half the new HIV cases in the country; seven states with a high proportion of HIV in rural areas will also receive federal help. These are Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Carolina. The federal plan focuses on four key pillars—diagnose, treat, prevent and respond—and uses current HIV data to identify where the virus is spreading in order to deploy resources quickly.

To learn more, read “Plan to End the HIV Epidemic at Home and Abroad.”

And in related news, Walgreens, CVS Health and Rite Aid are participating in a federal program called Ready, Set, PrEP. For more, see “People Without Insurance Can Get Free PrEP.”