A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Half of Kentucky adults support syringe exchanges because of decrease of risk of HIV outbreaks

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News More Kentucky adults favor syringe exchanges than oppose them, and the more they know about them, the more likely they are to support them, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll. Kentucky’s legislature approved syringe exchanges in 2015 to decrease the spread of HIV and hepatitis C, which are commonly spread by the sharing of needles among...

CDC identifies 10 counties at highest risk of HIV infection — all are in eastern Kentucky, W.Va.

By Mary Meehan Ohio Valley Resource Sitting on top of the Bible on Pastor Brad Epperson’s desk at the Clay City First Church of God is a list of goals for his small congregation written in a looping cursive hand. “Our community ought to see the love of God in us, not just by our understanding of a compassionate Gospel, but our public acts of love,” is near the top. Epperson was born and raised...

Bevin administration says state funded syringe exchanges must be one-for-one after initial supply

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The administration of Gov. Matt Bevin is requiring syringe exchanges funded by state grants to be limited to one-for-one trading of clean needles for dirty ones, raising the chance that all such programs might have to do likewise. Republicans said in the last legislative session that the 2015 law allowing syringe exchanges was intended to only allow a one-to-one...

Deadline approaching to apply for grants for syringe exchanges; 17 approved, few in high-risk areas

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The state Office of Drug Control Policy is offering competitive grants to local boards of the Agency for Substance Abuse Policy for them to use toward harm-reduction programs for 2017. The deadline to apply is Sept. 23. The grant money can be used for syringe exchanges (with some restrictions), Narcan (naloxone) programs, community education and other harm-reduction...

Kentucky has 54 high-risk counties for spread of hepatitis C; only six have needle exchange programs

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Why, if 54 of Kentucky’s 120 counties are among the nation’s most vulnerable to outbreaks of HIV and hepatitis C among intravenous drug users, do only a few of them allow users to exchange used syringes for clean one to avoid spreading the diseases? That question was asked, implicitly, by a national expert who spoke at the 2016 Viral Hepatitis Conference...