West Virginia to get $2.4M in federal HIV prevention funding

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FILE – In this May 6, 2019 photo file photo an injection drug user, deposits used needles into a container at the IDEA exchange, in Miami. National data is incomplete, but available information suggests U.S. drug overdose deaths are on track to reach an all-time high. Addiction experts blame the pandemic, which has left people stressed and isolated, disrupted treatment and recovery programs, and contributed to an increasingly dangerous illicit drug supply. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, Fie)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia will receive nearly $2.4 million from the federal government to fund HIV prevention and treatment.

The state is wrestling with one of the nation’s highest spikes in HIV cases related to intravenous drug use. The surge is clustered primarily around the capital of Charleston and the city of Huntington. It is being attributed at least in part to the 2018 cancellation of a needle exchange program that offered clean syringes to injection drug users not able to quit the habit altogether.

The state’s U.S. senators, Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moore Capito, announced the new funding on Thursday.

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