September 11, 2018, Wheeling WV – The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department has been working with the WV Bureau for Public Health on an increase in Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases in Ohio County.  In July the department was notified that a cluster of HIV cases had been detected in Ohio County.  Although the newly diagnosed HIV cases in Ohio County continues to grow, this increase is not considered an outbreak.  New diagnosed case of counts HIV for past years are 2015– 2017, 5 cases and 2018, 6 cases reported since January 2018.  Cases have also been linked to cases in the State of Ohio.

The health department has identified three common links between the cases in Ohio County, IV drug use, needle sharing and prostitution.

HIV testing determines whether or not an individual is infected with HIV, a virus that weakens your immune system and can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).   Individuals should think about HIV testing if they have been exposed to blood or had unprotected sex or just want to make sure.

The health department provides regular HIV testing, by appointment, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm.  Call (304) 234-3682 to speak to a nurse and schedule a test.

In response to the reported increase the health department has hosted one special testing clinic in July at the health department.

The department continues to hold needle exchange clinics at Northwood Health Systems on the OVMC Campus on Fridays from 1:00-4:00 pm, daily from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at the county health department in the City/County building and during the department’s Project HOPE, homeless outreach program, clinical rounds.

The health department has also increased awareness among the agency’s partners, including legal/law enforcement, the healthcare community and other social agencies.

For more information on HIV, the department’s upcoming clinic or to schedule a HIV test call the health department at (304) 234-3682