A survey of community pharmacists on prevention of HIV and hepatitis B and C: current practice and attitudes in Grampian

L. Watson, Christine Margaret Bond, C. Gault

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Abstract

Background Prevention of infection with the blood-borne pathogens (BBPs) HIV and hepatitis B and C remains a major public health challenge. The aim of this study was to assess the activity, knowledge and attitudes of community pharmacists in Grampian in prevention of HIV and hepatitis B and C.

Method A questionnaire survey of community pharmacies was carried out in Grampian, a mixed urban-rural Health Board area in NE Scotland with a population of 532 432.

Results Ninety-nine out of 128 (77 per cent) community pharmacies responded. Many pharmacies were providing services for drug misusers. Nearly all pharmacies stocked condoms, 57 pharmacists stated that they stocked extra-strong condoms, and two stocked dental dams. Two-thirds had leaflets relating to safer sex, HIV or hepatitis. Less than half stated that they had lists of local agencies dealing with drug-related or sexual health problems. Knowledge of the BBPs, and confidence in giving advice, were greater for HIV than for hepatitis B and C. Few were aware of recommendations for hepatitis B vaccination. The majority felt that in the future pharmacists could have a greater role in prevention of these infections. Principal barriers to preventive activity were described as time pressure, lack of a private area and lack of training.

Conclusions There is untapped potential for community pharmacists to be a focus for advice and information relating to prevention of HIV and hepatitis B and C; however, resources are needed to address the current barriers identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Public Health Medicine
Volume25
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Keywords

  • pharmacist
  • prevention
  • HIV
  • INJECTING DRUG-USERS
  • SCOTLAND
  • MISUSERS
  • URBAN
  • WALES

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