DHHR to Launch Syringe Exchange in Cabell County

syringe, needles

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is piloting the state’s first syringe exchange program, aimed at reducing the risk of spreading diseases.

State DHHR officials will join will local health workers in Huntington Thursday to announce a program that is the first of its kind for West Virginia. The pilot Syringe Exchange Program will launch in Cabell County later this year.

The pilot is part of a harm reduction program aimed at protecting public health by combating the spread of disease that stems from intravenous drug use. The hope is that by offering a place to exchange used needles for new ones, the state can combat the spread of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV and AIDS.

DHHR Cabinet Secretary Karen L. Bowling will be joined by the state’s chief public health officer with Dr. Rahul Gupta, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams and Dr. Michael Kilkenny of the Cabell-Huntington Health Department for the announcement.