APPROACH 2.0 - launching Summer 2022!

Implementing HIV, HCV, and syphilis testing options in community pharmacies in Newfoundland & Labrador, Alberta, and Nova Scotia. Stay tuned for more information. @APPROACHstudy  | 

APPROACH Pilot Study (2017)

Researchers in the School of Pharmacy at Memorial University and in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Alberta completed a research project in 2017 called the APPROACH Study ("A new APPROACH to HIV Testing: Adaptation of POCT for Pharmacies to Reduce risk and Optimize Access to Care in HIV").

A primary goal of this innovative study was to develop and implement an effective community-pharmacy based HIV point of care testing (or “rapid” HIV testing) program aimed at reaching those at risk of HIV infection and those who had never been tested.

Point of care testing (POCT) for HIV was offered in four community pharmacies in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) and in Alberta (AB) from February through September, 2017. Participating pharmacies were located in:

  • St. John's (Shoppers Drug Mart, 250 LeMarchant Road)
  • Corner Brook (Shoppers Drug Mart, 93 West Street)
  • Edmonton (Community Members Pharmacy, 10611 101 Street NW)
  • Fort McMurray (Shoppers Drug Mart, 327 8600 Franklin Avenue)

Although the APPROACH study has ended and HIV testing is not currently being offered in pharmacy, there are other places you can go to get tested for HIV or other sexually transmitted and blood borne infections, such as syphilis or chlamydia. Here are some options for testing locations:


Your family physician

Planned Parenthood–Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Health Centre
(203 Merrymeeting Road, St. John’s).
Call to make an appointment: 709-579-1009 / 1-877-666-9847

Contact your local Health Authority:

Eastern Health Sexual Health Clinic
(760 Topsail Road, Mount Pearl Square, Community Services Site, St. John’s).
Call or email to make an appointment: 709-752-4882 / 1-877-752-4358

Western Health, Communicable Disease Control.
Call 709-637-5417 / 709-637-5000 (ext. 5436 or 5917)

Western Memorial Regional Hospital - Fast Track Clinic.

Central Health, Communicable Disease Control.
Call 709-651-6234 / 709-292-8881

Labrador Grenfell Health, Communicable Disease Control.
Call 709-897-7354

Other Sources of Information:

Syphilis Information Line.
Call 1-877-752-4358 (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. NL time)

Newfoundland and Labrador HealthLine. Dial 811 (TTY 1-888-709-3555)

AIDS Committee of NL (ACNL)
Provincial counselling line for HIV/HCV: Call 1-800-563-1575


Your family physician

Sexually Transmitted Infections clinic (2 locations):

  • Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre
    (Main clinic, 11111 Jasper Avenue)
    Call 780-342-2300
  • East Edmonton Health Centre (79101 112 Ave)
    Call 780-342-4733 (Mon & Fri, 1:00-4:00 p.m. only)

Alberta Health, Sexual Health Services 
For Service Locations with Contact Information, click HERE

HIV Edmonton - STI Clinic  

Other Sources of Information:

STI/HIV Information Line. Dial 811 

APPROACH Study Media Coverage

Love Carefully - The Gazette

HIV Testing at Certain Pharmacies during Six-month Project - The Telegram

On The Spot HIV Tests Offered at St. John's, Corner Brook Pharmacies - CBC

Free HIV Testing at Local Pharmacies - NTV

Love Carefully: MUN Pharmacy Offers Free HIV Testing - VOCM

HIV Tests Available at Two Alberta Pharmacies as Part of Six-month Study - Metro News Edmonton

Pharmacies in Edmonton, Fort McMurray to Offer Free HIV Tests - Global News Edmonton

University of Alberta to Study Effectiveness of HIV Testing in Pharmacies - Edmonton Journal

Six-month Study Looks at Improving Access to HIV Testing in Alberta - University of Alberta News

Rapid HIV Testing Available NOW in Edmonton - YEG Men's Health

Publications and Presentations

Adaptation of POCT for pharmacies to reduce risk and optimize access to care in HIV, the APPROACH study protocol: Examining acceptability and feasibility. (Article published in Pilot and Feasibility Studies)

The importance of community: Development of a novel pharmacy-based HIV point of care testing program (the APPROACH* study). (Poster presented at the IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris, July 2017)

If you would like to learn more, you can contact:


  • Dr. Deborah Kelly, Co-Principal Investigator, 709-777-7903
  • Dr. Jason Kielly, Co-Principal Investigator, 709-777-2980
  • Dr. Stephanie Hancock, Research Coordinator, 709-777-7284


  • Dr. Christine Hughes, Co-Principal Investigator, 780-492-5903

The APPROACH Study was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and in-kind support from bioLytical Laboratories, and approved by Memorial University's Health Research Ethics Board and the University of Alberta's Research Ethics Office.


HIV Basics - CATIE: Canada’s Source for HIV and Hepatitis C Information

Take Care Down There (NL - Eastern Health)

Get Tested (NL - Eastern Health)


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