HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia health officials say an HIV cluster in Cabell County reflects a shift in how the disease is being transmitted
The Charleston Gazette Mail reports Cabell County's cluster – the only one currently known in West Virginia – is up to 49 confirmed cases
Officials say all cases were contracted by intravenous drug use through sharing or contaminated syringes.
The cluster, tracked since January 2018, represents a sharp uptick from the baseline average of eight cases annually over the past five years.
In 2017, West Virginia had one of the nation's lowest rates of HIV diagnoses (4.3 cases per 100,000 residents), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kentucky (7.9 per 100,000) fared similarly.
The HIV cluster could potentially devastate for communities ravaged by opioid addiction.
Information from: The Charleston Gazette Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.