CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams has been in discussion with local health officials about pressing issues such as the opioid and HIV epidemic.
He met with the South Carolina Department of Environmental Control and the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Abuse Services to talk about what our state needs to move forward.
“I just want to congratulate the leadership in South Carolina for stepping towards and not away from this issue,” says Surgeon General Adams.
He believes that the biggest challenge when discussing Public Health issues is communication. However, communication is the best way to solve these issues.
There are currently over 20,000 South Carolinians with HIV. Surgeon General Adams says that breaking the stigma behind the disease is crucial to encourage testing.
“A large number of new HIV cases are spread by people that don’t know that they have HIV. When you’re actually tested and properly treated, you can’t spread HIV to anyone else,” he says.
He also believes that South Carolina needs to take a big step in solving the Opioid Epidemic; that is the implementation of Naloxone in every medical practice.
Naloxone is a drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Surgeon General Adams says “the top priority of South Carolina should be getting Naloxone in the hands of as many people as possible.”
While these issues are prevalent in the community, he believes that we possess the tools to solve them.