Commission requests Congressional inquiry on Kanawha HIV outbreak

Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 10:23 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The Kanawha County Commission has sent letters to U.S. Senators requesting a Congressional inquiry on Kanawha County’s HIV outbreak.

Following reports that called Kanawha’s outbreak the “most concerning HIV outbreak,” the commissioners wrote letters to Senator Joe Manchin and Senator Shelley Moore Capito asking that an inquiry is opened to the CDC on the matter.

The commissioners wrote, “We are concerned that the statements referring to the ‘HIV outbreak’ in Kanawha County as the ‘most concerning’ are being made without factual and empirical evidence. The presentation went as far as to say that the Kanawha County increase is more significant than that seen in New York City. Is there a peer-reviewed evidence-based finding that would support this alarming allegation?”

“This is an important public health issue and is deserving of our full understanding,” said Commission President Kent Carper.

Commissioner Ben Salango stated, “We are grateful that Senator Manchin and Senator Capito provided $2.3 million to the State of West Virginia for HIV prevention and medical treatment. They are taking this important health issue very seriously. I look forward to working with them to help the citizens of Kanawha County who need these resources the most.”

Commissioner Lance Wheeler added, “I am alarmed by these recent statements regarding a potential HIV outbreak in Kanawha County. This Commission has an obligation to request and review CDC reports that raises concerns with the public health of our citizens.”

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