Health Dept. battling potential HIV, Hepatitis C outbreak

“In Knox County… we have very high rates of hep C. In 2016, we were named by the CDC as one of the 220 counties…that was vulnerable for an HIV or hep C outbreak,” said Rebecca Rains, Public Health Director with the Knox County Health Department. “We knew it was important for us to get on the forefront and try to get ahead of what could potentially be an outbreak in our county.”

Those in attendance at the April 10 Knox County UNITE Coalition meeting learned about the work is doing to combat Hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) outbreaks in the area, namely through the Syringe Exchange program.

This is where the idea for the syringe exchange program, which is proven to lower HIV and hepatitis C rates in communities, was born, according to Rains.

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