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Addressing Barriers to HIV Point-of-Care Testing in Community Pharmacies

Pharmacotherapy Department, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Washington State University, Spokane, WA 99202, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gregory Peterson
Pharmacy 2021, 9(2), 84;
Received: 8 March 2021 / Revised: 9 April 2021 / Accepted: 15 April 2021 / Published: 16 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Community Pharmacists in Public Health II)
Significant numbers of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections are transmitted unknowingly, making efforts to increase HIV testing accessibility crucial. As trusted healthcare providers, pharmacists can increase accessibility of HIV screening and referral services. However, challenges with lack of private counseling and testing space, need for training and education, lack of adequate staffing, heavy workload, and uncertainty supporting patients with reactive results have been previously reported by community pharmacists as barriers to offering HIV screening. The objective of this study was to investigate pharmacists’ opinions of strategies for addressing these barriers. A survey was developed to gather information regarding steps that could be taken to increase pharmacist comfort and interest offering HIV point-of-care testing (POCT) services. Thirty pharmacies were contacted and representatives from twenty-six responded. Pharmacists reported that they were likely or very likely to offer HIV POCT if they were given the following: a 2 h training session on administering and interpreting HIV POCT (73%); a 4 h education session on a variety of HIV education topics (73%); training about couples testing, post-test counseling, and de-escalation techniques (58%); or a semi-annual CE training (58%). Pharmacist respondents were likely or very likely (81%) to implement HIV POCT if there was a protocol in place so that patients with a reactive screening would out be referred for diagnostic testing and if there was a script provided as a template for post-test counseling (81%). The majority of pharmacists (69%) also preferred the appointment-based model rather than a walk-in or combination option and preferred (77%) having 20–30 min of dedicated time with the patient to provide adequate testing, education, and counseling. By using these strategies to improve comfort and likelihood implementing HIV POCT, pharmacists can increase access to HIV testing and decrease the spread of HIV. View Full-Text
Keywords: human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); point-of-care testing; community pharmacy practice human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); point-of-care testing; community pharmacy practice
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MDPI and ACS Style

McKeirnan, K.; Kherghehpoush, S.; Gladchuk, A.; Patterson, S. Addressing Barriers to HIV Point-of-Care Testing in Community Pharmacies. Pharmacy 2021, 9, 84.

AMA Style

McKeirnan K, Kherghehpoush S, Gladchuk A, Patterson S. Addressing Barriers to HIV Point-of-Care Testing in Community Pharmacies. Pharmacy. 2021; 9(2):84.

Chicago/Turabian Style

McKeirnan, Kimberly, Sorosh Kherghehpoush, Angie Gladchuk, and Shannon Patterson. 2021. "Addressing Barriers to HIV Point-of-Care Testing in Community Pharmacies" Pharmacy 9, no. 2: 84.

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