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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
WEST VIRGINIA: Prostitution Fueling Increase in STD Cases, Officials Say
By Greg Jordan
August 1, 2013
Bluefield Daily Telegraph (08.01.2013)

West Virginia’s Mercer County Health Department believed that prostitution contributed to the doubling of recorded STD cases so far this year. The department treated 27 STD cases in June, up from the average 10–15 cases per month, according to Public Health Nurse Judy Bolton. “It’s been especially worse since January this year. We are having a huge number of chlamydia and gonorrhea cases,” she said. Untreated STDs could result in complications. Bolton also noted that people needed to understand that they could transmit diseases like HIV and hepatitis B through the same ways as chlamydia and gonorrhea. The health department was working to locate prostitutes for testing and treatment; however, Bolton acknowledged the difficulty of locating them since persons who had been in contact with them rarely identified them. The county also reported very high hepatitis rates. Hepatitis could be spread via sexual intercourse with prostitutes or other high-risk behaviors, such a sharing needles.