Needle exchange opens in Ashland

Published 10:23 am Friday, July 1, 2016

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) — A needle exchange program is starting in Ashland to give heroin users access to clean syringes.

Media outlets reported the program officially opens on Friday and will be open on Fridays thereafter from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Boyd County Health Department Epidemiologist Kristy Bolen says the exchange is needed to prevent the further spread of Hepatitis C in the area and to prevent HIV.

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Kentucky leads the nation in the incidence of hepatitis C, with 4.1 cases per 100,000 residents, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The national average is 0.6 cases per 100,000 people.