Researchers Lead New Effort to Prevent HIV, Hepatitis C Outbreaks Related to Opioid Epidemic

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Researchers Lead New Effort to Prevent HIV, Hepatitis C Outbreaks Related to Opioid Epidemic

Communities facing rising drug addiction also face increase in diseases such as hepatitis C.

When communities face epidemics of drug abuse, a wave of infectious diseases often follows, including hepatitis and HIV. A new federally-funded program in southern West Virginia, led by West Virginia University, will seek to interrupt that cycle.

“West Virginia has the highest drug overdose fatality and hepatitis rates in the U.S.,” said Judith Feinberg, MD, of the WVU School of Medicine. “We have not seen an HIV outbreak yet. But it’s a ticking time bomb for us, especially in rural areas where the local health system’s ability to detect and mitigate an HIV outbreak may not be well developed.”

The program, which combines research, health services, and community involvement in harm reduction strategies, will target eight West Virginia counties:  Boone, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Raleigh and Wyoming. Six of the eight are among the top 25 counties in the U.S. in their per capita overdose fatality rates, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and West Virginia statistics.

Read full article: Researchers Lead New Effort to Prevent HIV, Hepatitis C Outbreaks Related to Opioid Epidemic

Read Full Article: Researchers Lead New Effort to Prevent HIV, Hepatitis C Outbreaks Related to Opioid Epidemic 

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