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By Wendy Holdren/Beckley Register-Herald

In the past three years, Beckley ARH Hospital’s infectious disease consultant has seen a huge outbreak in HIV and Hepatitis C cases — in large part due to the rise in intravenous drug use.

“Southern, rural West Virginia is facing a huge problem, and it continues to get worse,” said Dr. Zonaira Gul.

She believes the problem will only continue to grow unless the community has an open, honest dialogue about getting tested, accessing treatment, and breaking the cycle of addiction.

Beckley ARH will host a forum, “Communicate: Hep C & HIV, A Community Response to a Public Health Crisis,” from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Gul will be one of the panelists, along with law enforcement officers, EMS personnel, health department officials and more…

Read the full story at www.register-herald.com

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