Walgreens wants to “grow old together” with its HIV-positive patients, according to a new online campaign.
“Let’s Grow Old Together” features videos from seven HIV-positive, real-life Walgreens customers discussing the various stages of living with HIV, from diagnosis to building relationships to finding support from informed pharmacists.
In one emotional interview, 34-year-old Joshua sits with his mother, who admits that she was originally ashamed of her son’s positive status.
“To not have my family or their support there… I had to dig deeper into who I was, who I wanted to be, and if I wanted to live to see that,” he says, to which his mother now replies, “I’m right there a hundred percent.”
In another, pharmacist Andrew talks with his longtime patient Gregg about supporting HIV-positive Walgreens customers with specialized therapy.
Gregg then goes on to recount the time Andrew and a group of other pharmacists came to a dance he was holding for long-term survivors. The moment was clearly meaningful as both men tear up and embrace one another.
“We talked to a variety of people in Chicago, San Francisco, and Atlanta who spanned ages, and identities and talked to them about their journey,” said senior marketing manager Karyn Lee of the process behind the campaign. “What we took away is: if you’re newly diagnosed, there’s so much happening and a lot to process.”
“We really wanted to build a campaign that put people’s stories first,” she continued. “We asked our customers, ‘Do you think a pharmacist could be part of the equation?’ They never realized that a pharmacist could be an unexpected ally.”
Last summer, Walgreens pledged to provide better care for its LGBT patients, launching a resource guide for its 70,000 health care professionals nationwide that “helps pharmacists better understand the needs of LGBTQ customers and patients.”
The pharmacy giant drafted the guide in conjunction with the Human Rights Campaign, becoming the first major drugstore chain to explicitly come out as LGBT-inclusive.
Check out the “Let’s Grow Older Together” campaign, here.