In 2019, the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health (WV BPH), Cabell-Huntington Health Department (CHHD), and CDC collaborated to respond to an HIV outbreak among people who inject drugs (PWID). CDC, WV BPH, and CHHD formed a cross-agency communications team to establish situational awareness, identify knowledge gaps, and establish key audiences for messages, including the general population, PWID, and clinical and social service providers. The team disseminated up-to-date information about the outbreak, and prioritized messages addressing stigma related to drug use, syringe services programs, and HIV. Messages were continually updated to address the evolving situation and to resonate with local values. Messages were disseminated via advertisements, local news media, and directly to PWID, people experiencing homelessness, and providers. The response supplemented CHHD’s assets, including strong relationships and community knowledge, with staff capacity and expertise from state and federal agencies. This collaborative approach is a useful model to address communication needs.
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