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Information from TN Dept of Health about the Ongoing Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

County-Level Vulnerability to HIV and Hepatitis C Outbreaks Due to Injection Drug Use — Tennessee, 2019 Update



Rising drug overdose deaths in Tennessee may be a sign of changing drug-related behaviors, such as increases in injection drug use and/or the types of drugs being injected. This raises the potential for rapid transmission of certain infections that could result in an HIV or HCV outbreak among persons who inject drugs.

To evaluate county-level vulnerability to an outbreak, the Tennessee Department of Health examined socio-economic factors, indicators of opioid-related drug use, access to heath care, and health outcomes in Tennessee.

Thirteen measures were used to assess the vulnerability of each county in Tennessee:

Socioeconomic Factors

  • Percent (%) of youth: % of population aged 20–44 years
  • Vehicle access: % of homes with at least 1 vehicle   
  • Unemployment rate: % of population unemployed
  • Per capita income: average income per person

Opioid Use

  • Multiple Provider Episodes: “Dr. Shopping”
  • Morphine Milligram Equivalent (MME): the total amount of opioids prescribed, accounting for difference in opioid drug type and strength

Access to Healthcare

  • Primary care provider (PCP) rate: number of PCPs per 100,000 persons
  • Mental health provider (PCP) rate: number of MHPs per 100,000 persons
  • Behavioral Health services: Percent of individuals aged 12 years or older receiving Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) funded substance abuse treatment and recovery services for any opioid abuse

Health Outcomes

  • Syphilis rate: number of syphilis (primary, secondary, early and latent) cases per 100,000 residents
  • Teen birth rate: number of births per 1,000 births among females aged 15-19 years
  • Premature deaths: count of the premature deaths that occurred in the county
  • HIV prevalence rate: number of persons living with diagnosed HIV per 100,000 persons

What this means: Socioeconomic status, health outcomes, treatment access, and opioid prescribing may be driving Tennessee’s vulnerability to HIV or hepatitis C virus (HCV) outbreaks. By sharing this information with local stakeholders, policymakers, and program planners, additional resources can be committed to provide the evidence-based services to prevent HIV and HCV transmission.

Select below to see the county profiles

Contact Us:

Syringe Services Programs, HIV prevention, or HIV care: HIVSTI.info@tn.gov

Viral Hepatitis Case Navigation or Harm Reduction Resource Teams: VH.Health@tn.gov

Overdose prevention, substance use disorder treatment, or recovery services: health.opioidresponse@tn.gov