BENTONVILLE, Ark., Nov. 30, 2021 — As part of Walmart’s mission to provide accessible and affordable, human-centered care while improving health equity and outcomes, the company has renewed its commitment on helping eradicate HIV/AIDS through education, access to testing and partnerships to raise awareness of available resources.
The United States has set a goal to end the AIDS pandemic by 2030. This June 5, the world marked 40 years since the first five cases of what later became known as AIDS were officially reported and at least 32 million lives were lost. Today, on World AIDS Day, Walmart is part of the solution to addressing the health inequities of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and supporting solutions to change the course of HIV in the United States.
“Walmart is committed to providing affordable access to care that is human-centered and makes real progress to address inequities in health care,” said Dr. John Wigneswaran, Walmart’s chief medical officer. “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. We are dedicated to optimizing health by designing best-in-class clinical programs addressing each step of the patient’s health care journey.”
As part of this renewed commitment, Walmart 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. These centers will help with all aspects of care, including industry leading clinical programs, pharmacy services provided by HIV-trained pharmacists, enhanced care coordination, healthy lifestyle recommendations and finding emotional support services from our Community Health Workers.
Today, the AIDS epidemic disproportionately impacts communities of color, especially in the South, where people are more likely to be diagnosed with HIV over the course of their lifetime than Americans living in other parts of the country. The epidemic also has a significant impact on the LGBTQ+ population, with half of Black gay men and a quarter of Latino gay men projected to be diagnosed with HIV within their lifetime. There are currently 250,000 people in the U.S. southern region who are living with HIV but lack access to treatment, indicating an urgent need for HIV testing, education, prevention and resources in the area.
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 will host testing events for the third time, joining forces with AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition to provide free HIV testing along with education 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, a vital first step at effective prevention and treatment for people living with HIV.
Walmart also announced, in November, the launch of the Elton John Eyewear, a new line of stylish, accessible eyewear, at both Sam’s Club and Walmart locations. The launch of Elton John Eyewear also 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 Elton John AIDS Foundation to increase HIV education and awareness and encourage individuals to take the first steps toward a healthier future.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, approximately 220 million customers and members visit approximately 10,500 stores and clubs under 48 banners in 24 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2021 revenue of $559 billion, Walmart employs 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at twitter.com/walmart.