APPROACH Study - St. John's

Researchers in the School of Pharmacy at Memorial University are conducting a study called APPROACH ("A new APPROACH to HIV Testing: Adaptation of POCT for Pharmacies to Reduce risk and Optimize Access to Care in HIV”).

The goal of the APPROACH study is to provide and assess a point of care (or “rapid”) HIV testing program offered by pharmacists to improve access to HIV testing for people at risk.

In St. John’s, point of care testing (POCT) for HIV is being offered at

Shoppers Drug Mart, 250 LeMarchant Road.

*** Available until August 4th, 2017 ***


FAST Facts:
  • Testing is the only way to know for sure if a person has HIV.
  • If you’re sexually active, you should get tested!
  • Knowing your status means you can keep yourself and your sexual partners healthy.
  • Being diagnosed early gives you a better chance of living a long and healthy life.


To take part in the APPROACH research study and receive your HIV test, you must:

  • be 18 years of age or older
  • bring your MCP number
  • not have previously been diagnosed with HIV infection

To participate, simply visit the pharmacy counter at Shoppers Drug Mart LeMarchant Roadbetween 1:00 and 5:00 p.m., any day of the week or weekend. You can either verbally request an HIV test, or you can hand in a slip of paper that reads “HIV test please”. You can also call ahead to confirm a testing time (709-739-9751; ask for Susan or Michael).

The pharmacist will meet with you in a private counseling room, provide you with information about HIV, obtain your consent to participate in the study and receive your HIV test, discuss your readiness to learn your HIV status, and answer your questions.

The HIV testing procedure is free, confidential, and simple - it involves only a quick finger prick (similar to a blood glucose test). Test results are available immediately, and you will be offered support from community organizations and/or health care providers, depending on your individual needs.

The rapid HIV test is a screening test, not a diagnostic test. If your HIV test is reactive, you will be given a bloodwork requisition form to get a confirmatory HIV test through the usual lab, and you will receive this result from the provincial HIV program nurse practitioner. If your HIV test is non-reactive, this means you do not have HIV infection and do not require confirmatory testing (unless you have had a high-risk encounter within the past 3 months).

For more information about this study or to ask if and how you can take part, please contact:

Dr. Stephanie Hancock, Research Coordinator, at 777-7284 or email


This study was approved by the Health Research Ethics Board at Memorial University and is funded by a research grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).





School of Pharmacy

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000