Contact: Jackie Phillips
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 28, 2021
Butler County Sees Rise in HIV Cases
Butler County, OH – Butler County has experienced a 700 percent increase in cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) since the first of the year, as compared to the same period for the prior year. The increase is attributed to cases among people who inject drugs.
“While this represents just eight new cases, the percent increase is alarming and something we need to understand so we can implement prevention tactics,” says Jackie Phillips, Middletown Health Commissioner.
Butler County offers two sites for its bloodborne infectious disease prevention program in Fairfield (behind Mercy Fairfield Hospital) and Middletown.(1300 Reynolds Ave.) “As the grantee for HIV remediation in Southwest Ohio, we are working closely with Butler County and the cities of Hamilton and Middletown to monitor the situation and provide support for reducing cases,” says Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman. “We are certainly open to expanding the Exchange Project to additional locations in the region.”
Included in the Exchange Project program is education about overdose prevention, communicable disease and injection safety; testing for diseases and referral to treatment; hepatitis vaccination; safe disposal of injection equipment; access to sterile injection equipment to prevent the spread of disease; access to the overdose-reversing drug, naloxone; and distribution of personal care items, including condoms.
“If you are using injection drugs, it is important to make sure you have access to clean equipment to prevent the spread of not only HIV, but also hepatitis and other bloodborne infections,” according to Phillips. “It’s also important to practice safe sex. If you need condoms, any of the local health departments or the Exchange Project can provide them for you. Please take advantage of the Exchange Project services to keep yourself and others healthy.”
For more information on the Bloodborne Infectious Disease Prevention Program, visit The Exchange Project on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hc.xchange or follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/hc_xchange.
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