Early Wednesday morning, Elizabethtown police were called to a residence on Central Avenue for complaints of a “strong chemical odor”.  Upon arrival, they discovered 23-year-old Payton Lee soliciting sexual acts on another man at the address, under the influence of cocaine.

A police search found traces of the cocaine on tissue paper as well as burnt cocaine (the likely source of the smell) and marijuana on site.  Lee was charged with possession and prostitution, and according to the arrest citation, later confessed to the officers that he is HIV positive.

Lee is currently being held at the Hardin County Detention Center.

As of 2016, there are currently 133 registered HIV positive individuals here in Hardin County.  HIV is a virus that weakens the immune system and can be easily spread a number of ways, commonly through sexual contact and unsafe drug use practices.   New HIV drugs like ‘Truvada’ are available not only to treat individuals with HIV, but also as an effective prevention med for those who are at a high risk of contracting it (75% reduction in infections between heterosexual couples where one is HIV positive) .  However, the FDA recommends not relying solely on a drug to prevent HIV.  Individuals who pose a high risk for contraction should also practice safer sex habits, receive counseling, and get tested on a regular basis.

If you or someone you know thinks they might be at risk for carrying or spreading HIV, don’t hesitate.  Treatment works best if caught early.

Free HIV testing offered at:


Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Lincoln Trail District Health Department Hardin County Health Center
580 Westport Rd
Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Phone: 270-765-6196

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