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Table 4 Quotes related to the participant testing experience

From: Expanding access to HIV testing through Canadian community pharmacies: findings from the APPROACH study

Liked Accessibility/Convenience of pharmacy
“Having it at the drugstore helps a lot because it’s more convenient for young people and just to drop in.”
“I know when I went to make an appointment [at the sexual health clinic] – a couple of times I’ve been on a 2 or 3 week wait. So with this it was get in, get out, perfect. “
Liked Accessibility/Convenience of POCT
“The pharmacy thing was fantastic because it was so quick. If I could change anything it would be the traditional routes of getting tested and having to wait a week for the results to come back. It would be better if it could be the 2-minute kind of thing.”
Liked Confidentiality/Privacy/Anonymity
“I liked the fact that you’re going into the consultation room – the sign on the door just said consultation room. You don’t know if someone’s going in there getting their methadone, you don’t know if someone’s a new diabetic, you don’t know if someone’s going in there showing them how to use their needles, you don’t know what’s going on behind that door. And there’s nobody else there listening, no windows, nobody looking at you. It was private. You’re not intimidated sitting there waiting. But it was confidential, no one knew what I was going in for.”
“It was completely…I’m using the word anonymous but there must be another word…more discrete. Well, if I had went to a major hospital, I’m in a small town, everybody knows everybody, I know all their staff at the hospital, they know me, they see me every day if it’s my day up there.”
Liked Positive pharmacist behaviours
“Yes, the [pharmacist] that did mine was obviously very well trained and knew what she was talking about. She was deadly. And she was like super…she put me at ease, we’ll say. She was great.”
Liked Positive emotional/cognitive aspects
“The first thing is, where you’re in a [pharmacy], it feels like you’re just out shopping. You don’t feel weird. When I go into a hospital, I hate it – or even a medical centre you know, like an [hospitalbased] medical centre, I get a funny feeling. I don’t like that either. You feel like you’re dropping in at [the pharmacy] and it’s not stressful, because it’s already a stressful situation.”
“I think when it’s sort of like, tucked away and you can only go here [sexual health clinic] to get it [HIV testing] done, then it’s like ‘oh that person is going there because they have this’ – I think it [having testing in pharmacy] minimizes it [the stigma]. Instead, it could just be widely accessible to anyone.”
Liked Educational experience
“A lot of my friends live in Florida and they’re all on PrEP. The first time I mentioned this to my doctor… he didn’t know anything about it. So I went back to him a month ago after talking with [the pharmacist], she said it was available, so I started PrEP three weeks ago now. I told him [doctor] I was tested and then he sent me for all the bloodwork again so then I started PrEP. But it all started through [the pharmacist]. So, going to a drug store, you have a more educated team telling you what’s available for preventive measures, so educate some more on that because I didn’t know it was available.”
“Honestly if I had known I could have that kind of conversation with someone, I would have gotten this test years ago. He was just really good at explaining to me ‘ok, here’s what people think and here’s the reality and here’s what’s going to happen if there is a positive result’ and he just walked me through the whole thing…where all of the information I had before was just Internet stuff. If I had known that it could be that focused and calm a conversation, I would have done it earlier.”
Disliked POCT equipment
“When pharmacist was drawing the blood the use of the finger prick rather than a needle took a very long time to fill up the pipette. It didn’t hurt but it was uncomfortable.”