Indiana begins needle-exchange in county with HIV outbreak

AUSTIN, Ind. (AP) — State and local health officials have begun a needle-exchange program in a southeastern Indiana county where an HIV outbreak among intravenous drug users has grown to nearly 90 cases.

Scott County’s needle-exchange program started Saturday morning under an emergency executive order signed last week by Gov. Mike Pence.

That 30-day order temporarily suspended Indiana’s ban on such programs, but only for the southeastern Indiana county about 30 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky

The program is open only to Scott County residents through the Community Outreach Center in the city of Austin that’s at the epicenter of the epidemic. That region now has 84 confirmed HIV cases and five preliminary positive cases.

Each participant will initially receive enough needles for one week to help combat needle-sharing that’s caused the epidemic.


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