HUNTINGTON – The West Virginia Department of Public Health says there are 44 confirmed cases of HIV in Cabell County.
The Herald-Dispatch reports that HIV has spread primarily among intravenous drug users in Cabell County. A recent survey by Johns Hopkins estimates there are 1,800 intravenous drug users in Cabell County.
The Herald-Dispatch reports that the Cabell County HIV cluster is currently the only group in West Virginia, but the DHHR is calling for more testing across the state.
The West Virginia Department of Public Health characterized the situation as a cluster rather than an outbreak. A cluster is confined to a particular population, where it can be controlled with minimal risk to the public, according to The Herald-Dispatch.
Cabell County has a syringe exchange program, according to The Herald-Dispatch. The exchange operates at the Cabell-Huntington Health Department since 2015.
The Herald-Dispatch reports that this is the first notable HIV cluster in the state where the major risk factor was identified as IV drug use.