Official: County ‘Ripe’ for HIV Outbreak Among Drug Users

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia health officials are investigating an increase in HIV cases, mainly among intravenous drug users in Cabell County, but they haven’t detected an increase among drug users in Kanawha County.

The coordinator of a Charleston-based HIV treatment program says there’s likely people with HIV in the area who haven’t been tested yet.

Christine Teague is the coordinator of the Ryan White Program at Charleston Area Medical Center. Teague says Kanawha County is “ripe” for an HIV outbreak among IV drug users. The program provides outpatient care for HIV/AIDS patients in 19 Southern West Virginia counties.

The state Bureau for Public Health is investigating an active cluster of 28 HIV cases primarily among intravenous drug users in Cabell County, the Herald-Dispatch reported last month.