Indiana county OKs extending needle exchange into 2017

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana county is extending a needle-exchange program to prevent the spread of hepatitis C and HIV among intravenous drug users.

Monroe County commissioners on Wednesday renewed an agreement with the Bloomington-based nonprofit Indiana Recovery Alliance to run the program. The county has agreed to pay $12,000.

The Herald-Times reports (http://bit.ly/2g88fat ) Monroe County won state approval in December 2015 to operate a needle exchange.

Needle exchanges provide clean syringes to IV drug users to prevent needle-sharing that spreads diseases.

Monroe County Health Commissioner Thomas Sharp says the county is still facing a hepatitis C epidemic driven largely by injection-drug use. He says extending the needle exchange is the appropriate response to a public health crisis.

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Information from: The Herald Times, http://www.heraldtimesonline.com

 

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