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Syringe Exchange Programs Strives to Slow Hepatitis C Infections in Alaska

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Transmission of blood-born viruses like Hepatitis C is exploding due to the opioid epidemic. In some rural areas, infections have gone up by 490 percent in just the last few years. This is driving up healthcare costs in times when low oil prices have left the state in years-long financial crisis.

One program run by the Alaska AIDS Assistance Association or Four As is working to prevent the transmission and spread of disease by running a needle exchange program. Last year, Four As gave out nearly 500,000 syringes which was double the number dispensed just two years earlier.

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