HIV Testing in Retail Pharmacies

HIV Testing in Retail Pharmacies is a training to provide pharmacists and pharmacy staff with the skills necessary to conduct a complete HIV testing session using one rapid test technology with control solutions. The training teaches participants CDC’s Six-Step HIV Testing Protocol and reviews considerations for implementing HIV testing in pharmacy settings.

About HIV Testing in Retail Pharmacies

The accessibility of pharmacies for HIV testing presents a unique opportunity for pharmacists to contribute to the identification of undiagnosed HIV. It is estimated that 70% of rural consumers live within 15 miles of a pharmacy, and 90% of urban consumers live within 2 miles of a pharmacy. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded feasibility study offering rapid, point-of-care testing in community pharmacies and retail clinics stated: “Pharmacies and retail clinics represent a vast, largely untapped potential for the delivery of HIV testing in settings that are more accessible and, for some people, less stigmatizing than traditional testing.”

Based on these findings, CDC developed the HIV Testing in Retail Pharmacies training that reflects scientific advances and evidence-informed updates as expressed in CDC’s guidance: Implementing HIV Testing in Nonclinical Settings: A Guide For HIV Testing Providers (2016) [PDF – 2 MB].

Note: This training does not teach participants how to collect blood or oral samples.

HIV Testing in Retail Pharmacies Training

This training has two components:

  1. 1-hour eLearning pre-course module
  2. 1-day (5 hour) virtual, instructor-led training

To view and register for scheduled virtual, instructor-led trainings:

  1. Access the National HIV Classroom Learning Center training calendar hosted on Cicatelli Associates, Inc.’s (CAI’s) website.
  2. Pre-register for your selected course via the link provided in the training calendar.
  3. Complete your registration on CDC TRAIN as directed when you receive an email from the National HIV Classroom Learning Center. You must join the HIV CBA Learning Group and locate the HIV CBA Training Plan in order to complete your CDC TRAIN registration for a specific classroom training session (step-by-step instructions are available).

To access eLearning modules, including training prerequisite courses:

  1. Log-in to CDC TRAIN and access the HIV CBA Training Plan (step-by-step instructions are available).
  2. Select the module you wish to take.
  3. Launch the module or save the module for later.

To request technical assistance or that a training session be scheduled:

  1. CDC’s directly funded health department and CBO partners may request delivery of a CDC-supported training and technical assistance by submitting a request in the CBA Tracking System.
  2. Organizations not directly funded by CDC may contact their local health department for assistance in submitting a training or technical assistance request.

If you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact

Implementation and Marketing Materials

The materials and resources listed below support the implementation and/or marketing of HIV Testing in Retail Pharmacies by health departments, community-based organizations, and health care or other organizations. The resources are evidence-based and designed for cost-effective, scalable implementation.