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Ohio County Struggling With 700 Percent Increase in HIV Cases

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Butler County, north of Cincinnati, has seen a troubling increase in new diagnoses.

The southwest Ohio county of Butler is working to contain a 700 percent rise in HIV cases, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Health officials say the increase is due to the use of injected drugs. Rather than simply be reactive, state authorities are working to prevent new infections, setting up bloodborne infectious disease prevention sites in two of the county's cities.

“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,” Greg Kesterman, health commissioner in nearby Hamilton County, said in a statement.

Butler County may also expand its Exchange Project program, which offers information on overdoses, communicable diseases, and injection safety. 

The Duluth area of Minnesota recently experienced their own outbreak of HIV cases, along with a rise in syphilis. Officials indicated drug usage may have contributed to the spiking numbers.

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