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Congressional inquires sent: awaiting answers on HIV statistics in Kanawha County

Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 6:54 PM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Recent reports from the CDC have called Kanawha County’s HIV outbreak “concerning.”

“It used to surprise me, but not so much no more,” Dakota Michael said.

It’s not so much a surprise for Michael who describes himself as a recovering addict. He’s lived in Charleston for 20 years.

However, Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper says these findings are alarming.

“First of all, you have to think of the outbreak. I think we’re talking fifteen, twenty people. That’s certainly concerning for the individuals that have that. But, I have no knowledge of the demographics, how long they’ve been here, whether they have tested positive before,” Carper said.

In efforts to fill these gaps, Carper and the rest of the commission sent letters to U.S. senators, asking for a congressional inquiry with the CDC on the matter.

Carper says both Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., forwarded those requests on Monday.

“Anytime the federal government or an agency of the federal government makes a statement that causes people perhaps to be frightened, or concerned, they need to know the facts” Carper said.

Within Manchin’s letter to the CDC director, he requested that the Kanawha County Commission be contacted with information regarding their concerns no later than Friday, April 9.

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