Growing number of HIV cases in Ohio from drug injection

(WKEF/WRGT)

XENIA, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - There are a growing number of newly diagnosed HIV cases in Ohio according to the state's department of health.

The department released Tuesday that the newly diagnosed cases are among those are injecting drugs into their bodies. HIV is predominately a disease that is transmitted through sex, but the Ohio Department of Health said the proportion of cases from injecting drugs increased from seven percent in 2015 to 13 percent in 2017. The trend is continuing in 2018, the department reports.

Health officials say the cause for concern is the opioid crisis, the rate of hepatitis C infections, unsafe needle sharing and the introduction of fentanyl.

Greene Count Public Health is reminding its residents of SafeTrade, which is a needle exchange program. The department also says there is free, confidential HIV testing available as well as walk-in HIV testing on November 15, December 6 and December 20 from 1-3 p.m. The testing will be done at the county's health building at 360 Wilson Drive in Xenia.

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