APPROACH 2.0 - launching Fall 2022!

Implementing pharmacy-based testing options for HIV, hepatitis C, and syphilis in Newfoundland & Labrador, Alberta, and Nova Scotia.  

@APPROACHstudy  | 

The Adaptation of Point of Care Testing (POCT) for Pharmacies to Reduce risk and Optimize Access to Care in HIV, HCV, and syphilis (APPROACH 2.0) study is a 3-year research project focused on implementing sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection (STBBI) testing programs in community pharmacies.

Building on the success of the pilot APPROACH study (2017), APPROACH 2.0 is designed to increase the number of people tested, find new diagnoses, and link people with care. Select community pharmacies will offer point-of-care testing (instant results) to screen for HIV and hepatitis C and dried blood spot testing for HIV, hepatitis C, and syphilis as part of the research study. The goal is to create a sustainable program that improves health care delivery and health outcomes for Canadians with STBBI through a focus on effective implementation and policy impact.

Testing launches in Fall 2022 in select community pharmacies in Newfoundland & Labrador, Alberta, and Nova Scotia. Stay tuned for more information.

APPROACH Research Leads:

Direct media inquiries to: or 1-709-864-8732.


APPROACH Pilot Study (2017)

Led by researchers in the School of Pharmacy at Memorial University and in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Alberta, the pilot APPROACH Study ("A New APPROACH to HIV Testing: Adaptation of POCT for Pharmacies to Reduce risk and Optimize Access to Care in HIV") ended in 2017.

The 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. See study highlights

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

Publications and Presentations

Expanding access to HIV testing through Canadian community pharmacies: findings from the APPROACH study. BMC Public Health. 2020 May 7;20(1):639. doi: 10.1186/s12889-020-08719-0

Adaptation of POCT for pharmacies to reduce risk and optimize access to care in HIV, the APPROACH study protocol: Examining acceptability and feasibility. Pilot Feasibility Stud 4, 59 (2018).

HIV testing at the Pharmacy : The APPROACH Study. Presentation at the OHTN Research Conference, December 2018.

The importance of community: Development of a novel pharmacy-based HIV point of Poster presented at the IAS Conference on HIV Science. Paris, July 2017.

Media Coverage (2017)

The APPROACH Study - Pharm Recruitment NL