- Associated Press - Sunday, November 18, 2018

MARION, Va. (AP) - A county in Southwest Virginia plans to open the state’s third needle exchange.

The Roanoke Times reports that the state has given Smyth County permission to open an exchange in Marion.

State health department HIV prevention planner Bruce Taylor said an opening date hasn’t been set yet and local funding hasn’t yet been secured.

Wise County, another county in Southwest Virginia, opened the state’s first needle exchange in June. Richmond opened the state’s second exchange in October.

Officials are hoping needle exchanges can curb the spread of infectious diseases due to the ongoing opioid epidemic.

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