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Officials investigating cluster of HIV infections in Seattle

UPDATED: Fri., Aug. 31, 2018, 12:49 p.m.

SEATTLE – Public health officials say they are concerned about a number of new HIV infections among people described as being homeless, heterosexuals and drug users in North Seattle.

The Seattle Times reported eight such cases were identified during routine testing, according to Public Health – Seattle & King County.

Dr. Matthew Golden with the health department’s HIV/STD program says the cluster is unusual and worrying and said the numbers suggest an increase in HIV among heterosexuals who inject drugs.

In the past decade, an average of 10 heterosexual people who use injection drugs are diagnosed with HIV in the county each year. This year so far 19 people with the same characteristics have been diagnosed.

Health officials are increasing outreach and testing, providing case management and continuing to provide needle exchanges.

Officials previously warned of outbreaks of rare infectious diseases among people who were homeless.


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