INDIANAPOLIS – More than 100 people in southeastern Indiana have tested positive for HIV in an outbreak linked to the sharing of intravenous needles, and officials said Friday they’re trying to combat unfounded fears among drug users that they could be arrested if they take part in a needle-exchange program created to stem the spread of the virus.
The state’s Joint Information Center said there had been 95 confirmed HIV cases and 11 preliminary positive cases tied to the outbreak as of Thursday. That’s up from last week’s 84 confirmed HIV cases and five preliminary positive cases.
All of those cases have been linked to needle-sharing among intravenous drug users, most of whom injected a liquefied form of the prescription painkiller Opana.
Indiana’s largest-ever HIV outbreak has hit Scott County, a rural, economically-struggling area about 30 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky. Health officials say all of those infected either live in the county or have ties to it. In a typical year, that county would see only about five new HIV cases, but it’s seen 20 times that number since December.
Republican Gov. Mike Pence declared a public health emergency in the county March 26 that temporarily waived the state’s ban on needle-exchange programs, although solely for that county in hopes of stemming the virus’ spread.
3-to-1 ratio of community health centers to Planned Parenthood Body Part factories. CHC’s offer a far wider range of health services to women AND children, and are actually licensed to provide mammograms, unlike PP’s which AREN’T EVEN LICENSED. But please let’s keep spreading the lie that all young women will drop dead if PP isn’t allowed to strong-arm Americans into lining their pockets.