Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Community pharmacies are effective locations for rapid HIV testing

Date:
August 6, 2013
Source:
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Summary:
Researchers have found that community-based pharmacies can be effective locations for offering rapid HIV testing, diagnosing HIV, and connecting those who test positive with medical care quickly.

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found that community-based pharmacies can be effective locations for offering rapid HIV testing, diagnosing HIV, and connecting those who test positive with medical care quickly. The study is in the August issue of the journal AIDS Patient Care and STDs.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the number of new HIV infections each year in the United States has remained stubbornly stable for more than a decade at approximately 50,000. More than 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV. Nearly one in five of that group are unaware they are infected.

"There are many reasons why these numbers have not improved, but access to testing likely plays a large role," said Yvette Calderon, M.D., lead author for the study. "Access to healthcare remains particularly poor among low-income and minority populations -- groups that shoulder the highest HIV burden. We have been looking for new ways to reach out and offer testing to individuals in these groups and bring them into care if they need it." Dr. Calderon is professor of clinical emergency medicine and associate dean for the office of diversity enhancement at Einstein, and adult urgent care director at Jacobi Medical Center.

The Bronx, where Einstein and Jacobi are located, is ethnically diverse and has one of the highest HIV rates in the country, with some groups at much higher risk than others. Nationally, the rate of new infections among African-Americans (8.7 per 100,000) is nearly eight-times greater than that of whites (11.5). Hispanics have the second-highest rate (29.3), which is three times that of whites.

Dr. Calderon and her Einstein-Jacobi colleagues Jason Leider, M.D., Ph.D., and Ethan Cowan, M.D., M.S., formed partnerships with five community-based pharmacies in the Bronx and Manhattan (Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen) in an effort to test hard-to-reach, high-risk individuals. Public Health Advocates (PHAs) were trained to approach people in the pharmacies and on the sidewalks outside to offer HIV testing. When an individual agreed, the PHA would administer the rapid HIV test, which needs only a swab of saliva and provides results in 20 minutes.

While waiting for the results, the PHAs asked the participants to fill out an HIV-risk factor and test satisfaction questionnaire, and then counseled them about HIV-risk reduction behavior based on their answers. If the HIV test result was positive, the PHA offered to escort the participant to the HIV clinic at Jacobi or a collaborating HIV clinic near the testing site, where they were seen immediately by an HIV specialist. All participants were allowed to accept or decline the escort. On average, HIV-positive clients saw an HIV specialist less than an hour after being diagnosed.

During 294 testing days, 2,030 individuals agreed to HIV testing, six of whom tested positive. Five of the six agreed to accompany the PHA to a HIV clinic. Further testing revealed that their median CD4 count was 622 white blood cells/mL, indicating they were diagnosed at a relatively earlier stage of infection. (A CD4 count above 500 for someone with HIV in treatment is considered good. The immune system of someone who is HIV-negative person would have a CD4 count of 700-1,000. CD4 counts for those who are HIV positive indicate the person has AIDS.)

"In many urban areas, community pharmacies play an important role," said Dr. Calderon. "While New York pharmacies are not currently allowed to provide blood tests or medical care, they do administer vaccines and provide wellness help. Many area residents view the pharmacists as trustworthy and more accessible than doctors and go to them for advice."

"Our results demonstrate that pharmacies can effectively supplement the current healthcare system for HIV testing, especially in some of our lower-income communities" said Dr. Calderon. "They could become an important component of an extended network for informing more people to their HIV status and bringing them into care."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yvette Calderon, Ethan Cowan, John Y. Rhee, Christopher Brusalis, Jason Leider. Counselor-Based Rapid HIV Testing in Community Pharmacies. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, August 2013

Cite This Page:

Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. "Community pharmacies are effective locations for rapid HIV testing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806155543.htm>.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. (2013, August 6). Community pharmacies are effective locations for rapid HIV testing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806155543.htm
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. "Community pharmacies are effective locations for rapid HIV testing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806155543.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins