- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Two anticipated needle exchanges in Kentucky will be located in the parking lots of a Catholic hospital, meaning condoms won’t be available.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports the Roman Catholic Church’s disapproval of condom use means the programs in St. Elizabeth Healthcare lots won’t give away condoms, traditionally provided to help fight infectious diseases.

St. Elizabeth spokesman Guy Karrick says the hospital is “going above and beyond” to get needle exchange programs in place in northern Kentucky, but won’t compromise Catholic teachings on birth control.

Across the state line in Ohio, an exchange program housed in the parking lot of Catholic hospital Mercy Health Clermont does offer condoms.

Northern Kentucky Health Department spokeswoman Emily Gresham-Wherle says 45 HIV cases have been diagnosed since January 2017, a marked increase from previous years.

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Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com

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