Monday, April 13, 2015

HIV outbreak in rural Indiana has topped 100 cases

The HIV outbreak in rural southeastern Indiana has now topped more than 100 cases, reports WNDU 16 in South Bend. "The state's Joint Information Center said Friday that as of Thursday there had been 95 confirmed HIV cases and 11 preliminary positive cases tied to the outbreak." All the cases have been linked to shared needles among intravenous drug users, and most of the cases are from Austin, (Best Places map) a town of about 4,300 that only has one doctor.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence last month declared a public health emergency, allowing local authorities to begin a short-term needle-exchange program. "The needle-exchange program, which is only for Scott County residents, gives out enough needles for one week based on reported drug use," Sarah Parvini reports for the Los Angeles Times. "A total of 437 syringes were turned in, and 1,151 syringes were distributed by Thursday afternoon, the state’s health department said."

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