209481 Predictors of support of in-pharmacy HIV testing: Preliminary findings from the Pharmacies as Resources Making Links to Community Services (PHARM-Link) study

Monday, November 9, 2009

Silvia Amesty, MD, MPH, MSEd , Center for Family and Community Medicine, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY
Natalie Crawford, MPH , Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York City, NY
Rachel J. Stern, BA , Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies, New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY
Crystal M. Fuller, PhD , Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies, New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY
Background: HIV is high among Black/Hispanic injection drug users (IDUs). The New York State Expanded Syringe Access Program (ESAP) allows pharmacies to sell non-prescription syringes to IDUs to prevent HIV transmission. ESAP has resulted in pharmacy-IDU relationships that support expanding pharmacy services such as on-site HIV testing. This analysis assesses pharmacy support of in-pharmacy HIV testing. Methods: ESAP-registered pharmacies located in ethnographically mapped areas of high drug-activity neighborhoods in New York City were screened. Pharmacies that sold non-prescription syringes and had regular and new ESAP customers were considered eligible and a 10-minute survey was administered to all staff. Logistic regression was used to examine attitudes and opinions associated with HIV testing support. Results: Of 376 pharmacy staff, 57.7% were pharmacy technicians. Technicians were more likely female and Hispanic. Pharmacists were more likely male and Asian/Pacific Islander. 79.3% of pharmacy staff supports in-pharmacy HIV testing. Support of ESAP, in-pharmacy vaccination, provision of safe syringe use information, HIV testing referrals, medical and drug-treatment referrals were significantly associated with support for in-pharmacy HIV testing. Those supporting HIV testing were also less likely to believe that selling syringes to IDUs causes improper syringe disposal in communities. After adjustment, those supporting in-pharmacy vaccination were 10.1 (95% CI: 5.03-20.39) times more likely to support in-pharmacy HIV testing. Conclusion: Expansion of pharmacy services to include vaccination and HIV testing should be explored in New York and can serve as a model for other states that permit or are considering laws allowing these public health services.

Learning Objectives:
Explain the importance of pharmacies as site of HIV testing in communities that experience disparities in HIV burden. Identify the factors that predict pharmacy staff support for in-pharmacy HIV testing.

Keywords: Pharmacies, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator on a study of HIV testing and referral in pharmacies. I have worked for years with a high HIV risk population through my work as a clinician at Columbia University's Young Men's Clinic. I was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship in Costa Rica to work related to these issues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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