The surge in cases comes as the Trump administration sets out to eradicate HIV transmission by 2030.
A cluster of HIV cases in a rural West Virginia county represents what public health officials have long feared amid the nationwide opioid epidemic.
Cabell County has reported 74 cases since January 2018, primarily among drug users sharing contaminated needles. The recent surge in infections represents the convergence of two major health epidemics, HIV and opioids, the Trump administration has pledged to fight.
The fact that the uptick is happening in a rural county with an unusually robust public health system — which already does much of what the Trump administration wants to replicate nationwide as it seeks to eradicate HIV transmission within a decade — may be fortuitous for officials trying to prevent a broader outbreak. But the fact that the cases have occurred despite the county’s surveillance and prevention is also worrisome.