BECKLEY, WV (WOAY)- There are more than 2 million people co-infected with HIV and Hepatitis, which is becoming another major public health concern.
“We do have high rates of Hep B, Hep C and HIV compared to other areas in small towns like we are. So it is important that we try to do everything in our power to decrease the spread of disease,” said Candace Hurd, Administrator of Raleigh County Health Department.
To help reduce the spread of these diseases, Raleigh County Health Department is considering a needle exchange program.
“We’re not looking at just doing a needle exchange. There’s a whole lot more the goes into a comprehensive harm reduction program. In December of 2017, our Board of Health decided that they were looking for ways to decrease the spread of Hep B, Hep C and HIV in our community. So one piece of that is a syringe exchange,” said Hurd.
But, at least one Raleigh Commissioner shared his concerns stating that would not be open to a mobile needle collection system that delivers new needles throughout the County.
WOAY did reach out to the Commission President but was unable to reach him due to being out of the office.
Candy Hurd, Administrator of the Raleigh County Health Department, shared that she notified the Commission of dedicating her health program to the syringe program.
“We will be working with many partnering agencies to try and do the best for our community,”