Nearly 90 HIV cases reported in southeast Indiana as needle exchange program begins

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SCOTT COUNTY (April 7, 2015) – Indiana state health officials report a total of 89 cases related to the HIV outbreak in southeastern Indiana.

They said 84 cases were confirmed as of Friday, with five people preliminarily testing positive for the virus. On March 30, the Indiana State Department of Health opened a one-stop shop that provides state-issued ID cards, birth certificates and access to enrollment help for HIP 2.0 insurance. Other services include HIV testing, care coordination and substance abuse referrals in addition to vaccinations for tetanus and Hepatitis A and B. The outbreak is linked to  injection drug abuse of the prescription drug Opana.

The One-Stop shop is located in at the Austin Community Outreach Center, 2277 W. Frontage Road, Austin. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. AIDS United AmeriCorps is coordinating the response with the state health department by providing HIV testing and other services.

Here’s the health department’s rundown of services so far:

  • Total Services Utilized: 133
  • HIV Testing: 27
  • Immunizations: 30
  • Bureau of Motor Vehicles: 11
  • LifeSpring Mental Health Services: 5
  • Department of Health Vital Records: 14
  • Family and Social Services Administration (HIP 2.0 enrollment): 46

On March 25, Gov. Mike Pence authorized a needle exchange program for Scott County residents. Participants can get counseling and the number of needles they expect to use for a week. They’re then asked to return used needles for proper disposal.

Here’s the rundown of services provided so far:

  • Total Visitors: 4
  • Total Needles Provided: 168
  • Estimated Needles Returned: 300
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