A survey of pharmacy assistants in Grampian on prevention of HIV and hepatitis B and C

L. Watson, C. Bond, C. Gault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Prevention of infection with 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 pharmacy assistants in Grampian in prevention of HIV and hepatitis B and C. Method: A cross-sectional postal questionnaire survey of community pharmacy assistants. Outcome measures were practice, knowledge and barriers to practice. Setting: Grampian, a mixed urban-rural health board area in North-East Scotland with a population of 532 432. Key findings: Forty out of 78 (51%) assistants responded. Many were based in pharmacies that provided services for drug misusers, and/or stocked condoms. Twenty-four assistants stated that the pharmacies stocked extra-strong condoms but none was aware of dental dams being stocked. Two-thirds had leaflets relating to safer sex, HIV or hepatitis. Twenty assistants were confident that they could give advice on safer sex. Knowledge of BBPs and the infectivity of hepatitis B was relatively low. Few assistants were aware of recommendations for hepatitis B vaccination. The majority felt that in the future pharmacy assistants could have a greater role in the prevention of these infections. Principal barriers to preventive activity were described as lack of a private area, lack of training and time pressure. Conclusions: Pharmacy assistants have the potential to be a focus for advice and simple information relating to prevention of HIV and hepatitis B and C. Resources are needed to address the current barriers identified. © 2006 The Authors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-134
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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