The Indiana epidemic has put Virginia officials on notice, Becca Pizmoht reports for the Madison County Eagle. While HIV rates remain stable statewide, "concern grows that rural counties are seeing a disproportionate number of new cases. Several factors are cited as possible causes, including lack of available education and testing and increased intravenous drug use in rural populations." Madison County (Family Search map), population of 13,000, has not had any reported HIV diagnoses since 2011, but adjoining Greene County (18,000) has had six and Orange County (34,000) eight.
Ann Rhoades, director of HIV Surveillance in Virginia, told Pizmoht, “After the Indiana outbreak we have been watching rural areas more closely. Urban areas have a lot of available testing and there are needle exchange and education programs in place. We need to have education and testing available to our rural populations because there is a stigma attached to HIV sometimes people in small communities aren’t willing to get tested.” (Read more)