FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced plans to expand a program to Florence County to help sexual assault victims who may have been exposed to HIV.

McLeod Regional Medical Center, HopeHealth, Inc., and Pee Dee Coalition will provide HIV nPEP treatment and follow-up care to victims of sexual assault when they are found to be at risk of contracting HIV from the assault. The treatment is offered at no cost to the victim.

Florence County is now the fifth location in the state for the program.

“We can provide them with the program that would give them the medication that they need to prevent them from contracting a deadly disease on top of being victimized,” Wilson said. “That is why I’m so proud of the partnership we have formed here at this Pee Dee community that will provide these services to people, God-forbid that they ever find themselves as a sexual assault victim.”

South Carolina was the first state in the country to offer this level of service to victims of sexual assault who are found to be at risk of contracting HIV, according to a news release.

Individuals qualify if they are a sexual assault victim and meet the CDC criteria for exposure to HIV, the sexual assault happened in South Carolina and the sexual assault happened within 72 hours of the initial visit to the emergency department or infectious disease clinic.

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Caleb is a digital producer at News13. Caleb joined the team in January 2023 after graduating from Liberty University. He is from Northern Virginia. Follow Caleb on X, formerly Twitter, and read more of his work here.