WVU Study Finds Fear of Arrest May Be Barrier To Needle Exchange Use

On this West Virginia Morning, two years ago, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources published a report stating that much of the state is at risk of outbreaks of bloodborne diseases such as HIV, and hepatitis C. The agency concluded that one of the most effective means of preventing the spread of these diseases is through harm reduction programs. 

There are now at least 18 harm reduction programsin the state. They offer health services to people who inject illicit drugs. Many of these programs also offer new needles to people who inject drugs, and collect used needles, as a way to reduce the spread of infectious diseases. 

But a new study by researchers at West Virginia University finds that a fear of arrest may be preventing some people from using syringe exchanges. Roxy Todd spoke with the lead researcher, Steve Davis.

Also on today’s show, after West Virginia’s voter ID law went into effect last year, an organization focused on increasing voter registration and voter turnout launched a new initiative in the state to help people gain the proper identification. Spread the Vote, is operating in nine states and as Corey Knollinger reports, it’s not only given people a chance to vote, but a better chance in life.

And a lawyer for coal companies owned by the family of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has responded to a civil lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Justice Department and federal mine safety regulators, which seeks $4.7 million in delinquent mine safety fines and fees. Brittany Patterson reports.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

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