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Conference Proceeding

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One of the main problems that have impacted the state of healthcare in West Virginia has been the rising costs of treatments for bloodborne infections (Bates et al., 2019). Bloodborne pathogens and their resulting diseases have commonly spread by exchanging contaminated needles (Denault & Gardner, 2021). In West Virginia, Needle Exchange Programs (NEPs) have been implemented to reduce the transmission of certain infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, which have been more common among drug users (Beck & Kersey, 2018). In 2015, West Virginia had the second-highest rate of cases of hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in the country (3.4 per 100,000) (Davis et al., 2018). The overdose rate has drastically increased over the last decade in the US (Dasgupta et al., 2018). In 2015, West Virginia had the highest overdose rate of 33,091, accounting for 41.5 deaths per 100,000 people (Hedegaard et al., 2017). The HIV rate increased by over 300% in West Virginia, between 2007 and 2015, with the most frequently indicated risk factors for acquiring HIV infections being used drugs distributed on the street and injection drug use (Rudd et al., 2016).


Presented at the Appalachian Research in Business Symposium at Radford University in Radford, Virginia, March 30-31, 2023.