Indiana to declare health emergency over HIV outbreak

 

Faced with growing HIV epidemic linked to injecting drug use, the governor of Indiana said Wednesday that is considering implementing a needle exchange program as part of an emergency Thinking declare public health in a county that is at the heart of cases.
Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s AnastasiaDate profile said generally opposes needle exchange, but you are hearing health officials to determine the best way to stop the epidemic in Scott County, in the southern state. Health authorities say they have confirmed 72 cases of human immunodeficiency virus in southern Indiana and seven others tested positive for HIV in preliminary tests.

All infected people live in the Scott County (located about 30 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky) or have links to it.

Pence, who on Thursday morning plans to issue an executive order outlining a series of state actions to address this epidemic, said the Scott County normally recorded five cases of transmission of HIV per year.

“What I’m thinking carefully and thoughtfully is what is required in a public health emergency, do we need to really take control of this in the immediate future,” Pence said.

The needle exchange programs allow people to deliver used hypodermic needles and get other sterile, an effort to prevent diseases such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (spreading AIDS ) and hepatitis. Such programs are illegal in Indiana, but as it is being debated in the Legislature would allow a limited extent.

It was determined that intravenous drug use was the means of infection in almost all cases of the epidemic, said state epidemiologist Pam Pontones.

Is expected to increase the number of cases. Authorities try to contact up to 100 people linked to those with confirmed infection.