West Virginia county: Spread of HIV slowing after outbreak

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — New data shows the spread of HIV is slowing in a West Virginia county that experienced an outbreak over the past year, according to a local health director.

From October to January, only two new HIV cases were documented in Cabell County, Cabell-Huntington Health Department medical director Dr. Michael Kilkenny told the county Board of Health. The average has slowed to about one case a month.

Kilkenny told the board at a Wednesday meeting that the figures indicate the spread of the disease is slowing, The Herald-Dispatch reported. The county is continuing to operate at an emergency response level, and Kilkenny credited local, state and federal health officials.

“For our success to be upheld, we must continue our efforts to the best of our ability,” Kilkenny said.

In an effort to avoid duplication of cases across jurisdictions, the Public Health Bureau changed how it collected data about the HIV cluster in October. The county used to include residents as well as patients receiving services in the overall total. Now the bureau limits the counting of new cases to the person’s residence at the time of HIV diagnosis.

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