Counseling and Cofna expand HIV detection program to 50 pharmacies in Navarra

The Department of Health of the Government of Navarra and the Official College of Pharmacists of the Foral Community (Cofna) are extending the early detection of HIV program to 50 pharmacies in Navarra, where from now on every citizen will be able to take an HIV test free of charge. quickly and anonymously. Project, which began as a pilot project in November 2023 in 12 pharmacies of Navarra, will now add another 38 pharmacies, so that there will be fifty that will offer this service to all those citizens who wish to do so.

With the addition of new establishments, residents of the northern part of Navarra, Pamplona/Iruña and Comarca, Tierra Estella, the Middle Zone and Ribera will have either in their city or in one of the nearby pharmacies where they can carry out the proof.

Navarre is one of the few autonomous communities that has this program, which is already implemented by the Basque Country or Catalonia. The initiative promotes early diagnosis of this disease. and is a key element of the strategy to reduce sexually transmitted diseases in our community, as it is integrated into the Plan for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS and other STIs of the Government of Navarre.

Promoting and making HIV diagnostic tests available is a strategy to reduce late diagnosis. Early diagnosis of HIV has benefits both for the diagnosed person—for whom early treatment will improve prognosis and quality of life—and at a public health level—as it breaks the chain of transmission and prevents transmission to others. .

Data from the pilot program, which started at the end of November 2023 in 12 pharmacies in Navarra, show the results of almost 70 tests carried out, mostly requested by men, and all of them negative, with a very high percentage of true negative results.

Thanks to rapid HIV tests, protection of the patient’s identity is absolutely preserved, since the user performing this must express his consent only verbally, without any identification. And community pharmacies are a network of uniformly distributed medical institutions with a wide work schedule, whose medical workers are perceived by the population as close and accessible people.


Express tests available cost 5 euros for the user, corresponding to the minimum cost of the material used. The test consists of a rapid test using a drop of blood obtained after a finger prick (similar to a glucose control test for insulin-dependent patients). It is placed on a test strip and the result is obtained after 20 minutes.

In case of a positive test result, the pharmacist will refer the user to the referral center of the Navarro Health Service – Osasunbidea, so that the possible positive result can be confirmed by testing and treatment can begin. If the result is negative and if at least 3 months have passed since the last risky practice, this means that there is no HIV infection, that is, there is no virus in the body.

Pharmacies participating in this program have a badge indicating that they offer a rapid HIV test. You can find a list of pharmacies where you can take a rapid test at this address of the Institute of Public and Professional Health of Navarra.

Likewise, in the remaining pharmacies of the Foral community, in health centers, sexual and reproductive health centers and hospitals in Navarra, a list of pharmacies that perform this test will also be available. Information that citizens can also consult on the website of the Official College of Pharmacists of Navarra.

In 2023, 37 new cases of HIV infection were diagnosed among Navarran residents (5.50 per 100,000 inhabitants), consistent with the figures for previous years (38 in 2022 and 33 in 2021). Of the 37 cases, 30 (81%) were men. On the other hand, the number of people living with HIV continues to rise as new infections persist and survival rates have improved due to antiretroviral treatment. In the Foral community at the end of 2022, there were 1,257 people diagnosed with HIV infection (1.9 cases per 1,000 inhabitants), 72% men. The average age of the population living with the virus has increased: 72% are over 44 years old.

In addition to the pharmacies associated with this project, an HIV test can be requested from the Health Center, the Sexual and Reproductive Health Center and the Emergency Services, as well as from the Sara Elcartea Association and the AIDS commissions in Navarre. .

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button