Mountain State Spotlight – $47 million. Read the full article.
That’s the approximate lifetime cost of treating just the people in Kanawha County diagnosed with HIV and hepatitis C in 2019. The estimate from the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, looked at the financial impact of the 14 HIV cases linked to injection drug use and more than 600 hepatitis C cases the county reported that year.
With another 35 people diagnosed with HIV in the county in 2020, that number will grow. And the burden will fall on West Virginia taxpayers.
“Not having harm reduction has a moral cost, but it also has financial implications,” said Dr. Daniel Ciccarone, an HIV researcher who has studied outbreaks in West Virginia and worked in HIV prevention for the last 20 years.
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