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Effective Interventions

Core Elements & Fact Sheet

About HIV Testing in Retail Pharmacies

Pharmacy-based HIV testing has proven to be a non-targeted, yet high-yield approach. The reason being? Pharmacies are both accessible and acceptable.

Pharmacies can reach people no matter where they live, play, and work. Seventy percent of rural consumers live within 15 miles of a pharmacy, and 90% of urban consumers are within 2 miles. Pharmacists are broadly trusted by community members, and people feel less stigmatized entering a pharmacy for an HIV test. HIV testing conducted in pharmacies by pharmacy staff allows people to get tested anytime during the pharmacy's hours of operation - making weekend and after-hours testing available and accessible. It is also a highly cost effective approach.

HIV Testing in Retail Pharmacies reflects scientific advances and evidence informed updates as expressed in CDC’s guidance: Implementing HIV Testing in Nonclinical Settings: A Guide For HIV Testing Providers (2016)

This training has a streamlined Six-Step Protocol for testing individuals with greater emphasis on sero-status specific referrals and active linkage. A person’s current circumstances are explored, with less extensive pre- and post-test counseling.

Intervention/Strategy Goals:

  • Describe the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States: Updated to 2020

  • List populations disproportionately affected by HIV

  • Summarize the importance of post- and pre-exposure prophylaxis as HIV prevention options

  • Describe CDC’s HIV testing recommendations for adults and adolescents

  • Apply the six steps of an HIV testing session

  • List steps to perform, read, and interpret rapid HIV test results

  • Describe implementation models and lessons learned from retail pharmacies providing rapid HIV testing
*Core elements are the characteristics of an individual intervention presumed to be responsible for the efficacy of the intervention.

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