HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Cabell-Huntington Health Department is still reviewing and keeping their eyes on numerous HIV cases in the county.
More than two dozens of cases were reported by health officials in the area in March as Elizabeth Adkins, the Public Information Officer with the Cabell-Huntington Health Department said getting information out there is important.
“We simply just wanted to let the community know that we have seen a rise in our cases,” she told MetroNews recently. “We have the state here reporting on behalf of the state in regards to the numbers and so forth.”
Adkins said while the department can’t give an exact pinpoint for the reason behind higher number of cases, they have seen troubling numbers for at-risk. She said the county has seen a rise in the at-risk population such as IV drug users and the homeless.
Warnings and public information meetings can be done by health officials in the area but Adkins said the next best thing is to get tested.
As part of regular services with the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, testing can be completed in a few minutes. Adkins said their department is working closely with state officials on these cases.
“We are setting up different outreach opportunities for people to come and get tested,” she said. “They can certainly come to our health department or their providers to get tested. Anyone who engages in risky behaviors is people who we are trying to target to get tested and simply know their status.”
Knowing your status and even catching HIV early can go a long way, Adkins added.
“People can go on to live a healthy life with their treatments,” she said. “There are many services and resources out there to help people who are positive to live a healthy life.”
Adkins is encouraged by the actions of those who have tested positive. She said many have helped to provide education to others and give contact information for those whom they have been in contact with.
28 cases of HIV have recently been confirmed in Cabell County, according to the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health.