5 Kentucky counties to share mobile needle exchange

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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

LONDON, Ky. (AP) – Five counties in eastern Kentucky will soon have a mobile needle exchange.

WYMT-TV reports a grant from the Kentucky Department for Public Health is funding a van that will be outfitted as a needle exchange and shared between Knox, Laurel, Whitley, Clay, and Jackson counties.

Health directors said the van will be used for more than trading clean needles for dirty ones. Laurel County Health Department Director Mark Hensley says health officials also will be able to test individuals for HIV and hepatitis C as well as administer hepatitis A vaccines. In addition, he said they will also offer resources to drug users in an effort to help them find a way out of their addictions.

The mobile unit is projected to start up in a couple of months.

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