Community pharmacists support more involved role in customers' HIV treatment

July 16, 2013, Indiana University

Community pharmacists in the United States have a unique opportunity to consult with customers about HIV treatment when selling over-the-counter HIV tests, according to a study by researchers at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention and Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

In a study lead by Beth Meyerson, co-director of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention, Indiana licensed reported that they wanted an active role of consultation when customers purchased over-the-counter HIV tests. A rapid HIV home test kit was approved by FDA in the summer of 2012 and is being sold through the U.S. in pharmacies and on the Internet.

"Pharmacists understood the benefit of greater access to HIV testing, but they felt that their role as pharmacists was beyond that of OTC test seller," Meyerson said. "Instead, pharmacists saw themselves as health consultants and wished to build on the strong relationships that they have with customers during the point at which they sell the test.

"The pharmacy system could be an effective environment for HIV consultation because it would help to strengthen the current system of linkage to care," Meyerson said. Currently, 20 percent of those living with HIV do not yet know it in the U.S.; but among those who do, only 24 percent are in with suppressed . "This essentially means that people are not testing for HIV, that they are not properly linked to treatment when they do test positive, and they are not maintained in care."

She said have the most to gain from an engaged pharmacy environment because these communities often lack an HIV testing and treatment infrastructure, and people often feel stigmatized about HIV testing.

"If pharmacists are engaged and supportive, then it might help to increase the number of those who test for HIV and also the number of people linked to HIV treatment," she said.

Explore further: IU expert: Current HIV testing approach 'not doing the job'

Related Stories

IU expert: Current HIV testing approach 'not doing the job'

June 28, 2012
Beth Meyerson, co-chair of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention at Indiana University, said expanding HIV testing is critical.

New HIV testing guidelines helpful, but access to screenings still an issue

May 2, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Beth Meyerson, health policy expert at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, said the new screening guidelines by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force represent an important shift ...

Study uses novel incentive to encourage HIV patient care and treatment

July 17, 2012
In a new study by ICAP at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health, researchers are assessing a novel approach to encourage newly diagnosed HIV positive people to seek care and adhere to HIV treatment. The unique study ...

FDA panel backs first rapid, take home HIV test

May 15, 2012
(AP) -- A panel of HIV specialists is recommending that U.S. regulators approve the first over-the-counter HIV test designed to quickly return a result in the privacy of a person's own home, a new option which could expand ...

Integrating mental health care into HIV care

May 21, 2013
The integration of mental health interventions into HIV prevention and treatment platforms can reduce the opportunity costs of care and improve treatment outcomes, argues a new Policy Forum article published in this week's ...

New York City successfully locates HIV-positive patients 'lost to follow-up'

May 30, 2013
Public health officials in New York City have launched a successful program to locate HIV-positive patients who have been "lost to follow-up" and reconnect them with treatment services, reports a study published in AIDS, ...

Recommended for you

Researchers find latent HIV reservoirs inherently resistant to elimination by CD8+ T-cells

January 22, 2018
The latest "kick-and-kill" research to eliminate the HIV virus uncovered a potential obstacle in finding a cure. A recent study by researchers at the George Washington University (GW) found that latent HIV reservoirs show ...

HIV-1 genetic diversity is higher in vaginal tract than in blood during early infection

January 18, 2018
A first-of-its-kind study has found that the genetic diversity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is higher in the vaginal tract than in the blood stream during early infection. This finding, published in PLOS ...

War in Ukraine has escalated HIV spread in the country: study

January 15, 2018
Conflict in Ukraine has increased the risk of HIV outbreaks throughout the country as displaced HIV-infected people move from war-affected regions to areas with higher risk of transmission, according to analysis by scientists.

Researchers offer new model for uncovering true HIV mortality rates in Zambia

January 12, 2018
A new study that seeks to better ascertain HIV mortality rates in Zambia could provide a model for improved national and regional surveillance approaches, and ultimately, more effective HIV treatment strategies.

New drug capsule may allow weekly HIV treatment

January 9, 2018
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a capsule that can deliver a week's worth of HIV drugs in a single dose. This advance could make it much easier for patients to adhere to the strict schedule ...

New long-acting, less-toxic HIV drug suppresses virus in humanized mice

January 8, 2018
A team of Yale researchers tested a new chemical compound that suppresses HIV, protects immune cells, and remains effective for weeks with a single dose. In animal experiments, the compound proved to be a promising new candidate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.