HIV

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, via Ohio Valley ReSource

Health officials in the Ohio Valley are dealing with a multi-state, regional outbreak of Hepatitis A infections, with nearly 500 cases in four states. As part of the Ohio Valley ReSource series, “Rural Risk,” Mary Meehan reports this outbreak is the latest public health threat linked to the region’s addiction crisis.

Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

Health officials in the Ohio Valley are investigating outbreaks of disease associated with needle drug use in what is emerging as a new public health threat from the region’s profound opioid addiction crisis.

When people started to show up to Dr. William Cooke's primary care office in Austin, Ind., in 2014 with HIV, Cooke knew it was probably related to the region's opioid epidemic. But what he and the rest of the public health community didn't know was who they were missing or how long the HIV outbreak had been going on.

African-American women are more likely to be infected with HIV than other women, and many don't know it. So public health officials and advocates are trying to get the word out about PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis. It's a daily medication that helps prevent HIV infection.

Mary Meehan | Ohio Valley ReSource

The Centers for Disease Control recently ranked the counties in the nation with the greatest risk for an HIV outbreak due to needle-injected drugs. The top ten are all in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia. Needle exchange programs can limit the risk of infection, but they also challenge some deeply held convictions. Mary Meehan of the Ohio Valley ReSource reports from Powell County, Kentucky, where the opioid crisis has forced a religious community to reconsider some beliefs.

Heartland Cares, Inc., Facebook

On Sounds Good​, Tracy Ross introduces us to the new executive director of Heartland CARES, Sean Oslin.

mishoo, 123rf Stock Photo

The University of Louisville School of Dentistry is using $2 million in federal funding to provide dental care for people with HIV or AIDS. 

Eric Molina, Wikimedia Commons

Bowling Green will become the latest city in Kentucky with a one-for-one needle exchange program for intravenous drug users.

Eric Molina, Wikimedia Commons

Some health departments in western Kentucky area are mulling the possibility of implementing needle exchange programs to stem transmission of bloodborne diseases like HIV and Hepititus C.

In March, Gov. Beshear signed SB 192, also known as the heroin bill, which gives local health departments the option of starting a program allowing addicts to swap out dirty needles for clean ones.

Earlier this week, Lousiville began the process of starting its own program and while needle use of drugs like heroin is more prevalent in other parts of the state, health officials are starting to take a look at whether the need for a program is great enough in our area.

hcares-org.doodlekit.com

Next Thursday Paducah's Heartland CARES, HIV/AIDS care, prevention and community awareness, celebrates its mission and successes with its 4th SpringTINI. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte gets a preview of the Market House Square event from Heartland CARES Executive Director Andrew Halford and learns why this non-profit organization keeps a low profile.

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