“In a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control, researchers sought to identify U.S. counties where persons who inject drugs appear especially vulnerable to the rapid spread of Hepatitis C or HIV.
Among the top 220 counties identified as high risk areas, large portions of Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia were in the top 5% of the study.
…The harm reduction clinic, also known as the needle exchange program, at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department has been up and running for seven weeks. In that time, clinic officials have seen a total of 96 patients and handed out hundreds of clean needles to prevent the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C.
Although CDC officials said that the general population is not at risk, KCHD employees say spreading awareness about the needle exchange program is critical for the health of those battling drug addiction in the Kanawha Valley.
…While outbreak risk only applies to those using IV drugs, health department officials improperly disposed of needles can still spread HIV and Hepatitis.”