CDC Announces New HIV Prevention Strategies for Healthcare Organizations
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is pleased to announce the availability of two important prevention strategies that are specifically designed for health care organizations: HIV Testing in Retail Pharmacies and Stay Connected for Your Health. The ability to train the nation’s health care workforce in these two prevention strategies creates exciting opportunities to reduce new HIV infections and improve health outcomes for people with HIV as envisioned in Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America.
HIV Testing in Retail Pharmacies provides pharmacists and pharmacy staff the necessary skills to implement CDC’s six-step HIV testing protocol. They will learn from start to finish, how to conduct an HIV testing session with a client, as well as how to collect specimens and run a CLIA-waived HIV test. As trusted health care professionals, pharmacists are contributing to HIV prevention, testing, pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis, and treatment. Providing HIV testing in retail pharmacies offers a unique opportunity to address unmet needs in rural and urban settings, making testing more accessible and less stigmatizing.
Stay Connected for Your Health is a clinic-wide intervention to deliver enhanced contacts with patients who are newly diagnosed with HIV or people living with HIV who have difficulty keeping their scheduled medical visits. Brief face-to-face meetings with a Retention Specialist build rapport and help the patient to address the challenge of remaining in care. In addition, the entire staff is trained to provide a warm welcoming environment and deliver brief, powerful messages about the benefits of being in care.
CDC considers every touchpoint with a health care provider to be a vital opportunity to deliver a message about the importance of getting tested and staying in care to achieve and sustain viral suppression. Stay Connected for Your Health and HIV Testing in Retail Pharmacies are two prevention strategies that will help bring us closer to ending the HIV epidemic in the United States.
Training courses are available through the CDC-funded National HIV Classroom Learning Center and can be requested by sending an email to RequestCDCtraining@caiglobal.org. Please visit https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/effective-interventions/index.html and begin to explore how HIV Testing in Retail Pharmacies and Stay Connected for Your Health can be implemented in your setting.