Exploring and Defining the Community Pharmacists' Role in HIV Prevention, Testing and Care

February 4, 2015

The roles that community pharmacists play in human immunodeficiency virus prevention, testing and care are explored in several research and experience articles in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. The four articles discuss community pharmacists' roles and pharmacists' perceptions of their patient care services among people living with HIV.

PRESS RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC — The roles that community pharmacists play in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention, testing and care are explored in several research and experience articles in the January/February 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPhA®). The four articles discuss community pharmacists’ roles and pharmacists’ perceptions of their patient care services among people living with HIV.

CDC estimates that more than 1.1 million people over age 13 are living with HIV infection in the U.S., and almost 16 percent of those are currently unaware of their infection. Over the past decade, the number of new HIV infections in the U.S. has remained relatively stable at about 50,000 per year. Unfortunately, for patients in some rural communities easy access to physicians, hospitals and community health centers prevents testing and treatment. However, more than 85 percent of Americans live within a 10-mile radius of a community pharmacy. The accessibility of local pharmacists is an untapped resource for the delivery of effective and confidential HIV education, testing and care services.

The objective of the lead research article, “Are community-based pharmacists underused in the care of persons living with HIV? A need for structural and policy changes,” by Jennifer Kibicho, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, formerly at the Medical College of Wisconsin, et al., was: “To describe community pharmacists’ perceptions on their current role in direct patient care services, an expanded role for pharmacists in providing patient care services, and changes needed to optimally use pharmacists’ expertise to provide high-quality direct patient care services to people living with HIV infections.”

A second research article, “Nonprescription syringe sales: A missed opportunity for HIV prevention in California,” by Robin A. Pollini, PhD, MPH, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, et al., sought to: “assess implementation of California Senate Bill SB41 in two inland California counties where prevalence of injection drug use is among the highest in the nation.”

The objective of an experience report, “Pharmacist-provided rapid HIV testing in two community pharmacies,” by Kristin M. Darin, PharmD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, et al., was: “To evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of pharmacist-provided rapid testing for HIV infection in community pharmacies.” The objective of Darin’s related research notes was: “To evaluate consumers’ interest in pharmacist-provided HIV screening and to evaluate potential barriers and facilitators to HIV screening in the community pharmacy setting.”

The full-text articles are available for a limited time, free of charge on the Journal’s website at japha.org. In addition, a copy can be requested by email from mspinnler@aphanet.org.

About the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association

JAPhA is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). JAPhA is a forum for original research, reviews, experiences and opinion articles that link science to contemporary pharmacy practice to improve patient care. It provides information on pharmaceutical care, drug therapy, diseases and other health issues, trends in pharmacy practice and therapeutics, informed opinion and original research. For more information, please visit www.japha.org.

About the American Pharmacists Association

The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501 (c)(6) organization, representing more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States. For more information, please visit www.pharmacist.com.