HIV testing in community pharmacies and retail clinics: A model to expand access to screening for HIV infection
Published Date:2014 Sep-Oct
Source:J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 54(5):486-492.
Ambulatory Care Facilities
Community Pharmacy Services
Health Services Needs And Demand
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4698873
Funding:200-2009-30908-00004/PHS HHS/United States
CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
To test the feasibility of offering rapid, point-of-care human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing at community pharmacies and retail clinics.
Pilot program to determine how to implement confidential HIV testing services in community pharmacies and retail clinics.
21 community pharmacies and retail clinics serving urban and rural patients in the United States, from August 2011 to July 2013.
106 community pharmacy and retail clinic staff members.
A model was developed to implement confidential HIV counseling and testing services using community pharmacy and retail clinic staff as certified testing providers, or through collaborations with organizations that provide HIV testing. Training materials were developed and sites selected that serve patients from urban and rural areas to pilot test the model. Each site established a relationship with its local health department for HIV testing policies, developed referral lists for confirmatory HIV testing/care, secured a CLIA Certificate of Waiver, and advertised the service. Staff were trained to perform a rapid point-of-care HIV test on oral fluid, and provide patients with confidential test results and information on HIV. Patients with a preliminary positive result were referred to a physician or health department for confirmatory testing and, if needed, HIV clinical care.
Main outcome measures
Number of HIV tests completed and amount of time required to conduct testing.
The 21 participating sites administered 1,540 HIV tests, with 1,087 conducted onsite by staff during regular working hours and 453 conducted at 37 different HIV testing events (e.g., local health fairs). The median amount of time required for pretest counseling/consent, waiting for test results, and posttest counseling was 4, 23, and 3 minutes, respectively. A majority of the sites (17) said they planned to continue HIV testing after the project period ended and would seek assistance or support from the local health department, a community-based organization, or an AIDS service organization.
This pilot project established HIV testing in several community pharmacies and retail clinics to be a feasible model for offering rapid, point-of-care HIV testing. It also demonstrated the willingness and ability of staff at community pharmacies and retail clinics to provide confidential HIV testing to patients. Expanding this model to additional sites and evaluating its feasibility and effectiveness may serve unmet needs in urban and rural settings.
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