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U.S. News

Georgia: Barney's Pharmacy to Advance HIV Testing, Outreach

November 2, 2012

Barney's Pharmacy in Augusta, Ga., aims to change the fact that an estimated one in five people with HIV does not know that they have it. One of 24 participating community pharmacies, Barney's will take part in a national pilot program to expand rapid HIV testing and public education through a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ashlee Riggs, a pharmacy resident at Barney's, explains that many individuals who should be screened will not go to an infectious disease clinic, but may feel less threatened being tested at a community pharmacy, as the setting reduces the stigma surrounding the test. The test at Barney's is available over the counter, but is free and offers other advantages, such as support, counseling, and linkage to care if a person tests positive. People do not get these benefits if they are testing themselves alone at home, declares Riggs.

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