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Prevention: Spend money wisely to battle disease spread

West Virginia has suffered greatly under the weight of the substance abuse epidemic that has found more than one way to claim lives. The Mountain State is dealing with the highest spike of HIV cases related to intravenous drug use in the country. But there are other infectious diseases transmitted by the needles sometimes used in the abuse of opioids. Hepatitis is one example.

To fight those plagues within a plague, the federal Department of Health and Human Services is giving West Virginia $393,100 to help detect the spread of hepatitis, with nearly $79,000 of that funding devoted to infectious diseases stemming from opioid use.

“As Kanawha County and other parts of the state continue to battle rising HIV cases, it’s important that we continue to direct more resources to protect those living with HIV and other infectious diseases in our communities,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he is also pleased with the investments as they “will also help to address the side-effects of drug misuse, including infectious diseases.”

More money is one thing. Using it to make a difference is another. Those close to the ground who understand the problem better than anyone in Washington, D.C., must be certain the money is used to truly fight the problem. Proven prevention methods and efforts to help and protect our citizens must take precedent over any use-it-or-lose-it spending tactics that ensure nothing more than taxpayer money being tossed around.

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